On-time graduation rates represent the percentage of students who graduated from high school four years after they started the ninth grade, disaggregated by program. Extended graduation rates represent the percentage of students who graduated, including those who graduated after the year in which they were expected to graduate (5-year graduation rate), disaggregated by program. Both on-time and extended graduation rates shown here were calculated using the the "Adjusted Cohort Calculation" method.
From 2012-13 on, all graduation rates are calculated using only this methodology (see below for details). Cohorts are made up of students based on the year that they entered 9th grade for the first time. Adjustments are made when students transfer into or out of a Washington public high school and therefore join or leave that cohort.
Data for this measure come from the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Data were retrieved on March 23, 2016 from "Graduation and Drop out Statistics" reports, and Appendices A, B, and E at http://www.k12.wa.us/dataadmin/.
S: Data have been suppressed due to low numbers. Data were suppressed if the enrollment of students served was 10 or less.
Data last updated in March 2016 by Washington KIDS COUNT.
According to "Educating English Language Learners in Washington State 2007-2008: Report to Legislature (OSPI Document No. 08-005)," English language learners (ELL) are defined by state law as those students whose primary language is other than English and who have English language skill deficiencies that impair their learning in regular classrooms. ELLs are served by OSPI Migrant and Bilingual programs.
Special Education students are children with disabilities participating in OSPI Special Education and related services.
Students eligible for free or reduced priced meals administered by OSPI Child Nutrition Services are low income.
The methodology for calculating graduation rates in Washington state has changed in recent years. The new method shown in this series uses the "Adjusted Cohort Calculation." OSPI reported graduation rates for the 2010-2011 and 2011-12 school year using both the traditional ("Estimated Annual Calculation") and new methodology. Starting with the 2012-13 school year, OSPI will report using only the adjusted cohort method. The new methodology differs enough that historical comparison with previous years is not recommended.
For more information about the changes in methodology, read OSPI's report here.
OSPI defines the two methodologies as follows:
"Estimated Annual Calculation (traditional method): Washington’s traditional method of calculating the graduation rate is based on a composite cohort of students, using data from a single school year. The estimated annual graduation rate applies a compilation of dropout rates across the four high-school grade levels to the number of that year’s 12th graders. This rate also has an adjustment for students who continue to be enrolled after four years. For example, students who are in 9th grade during 2010-11 and drop out in that year are factored into the 2011 graduation rate. The same is true for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders enrolled in those grades during 2010-11."
"Adjusted Cohort Calculation (new method): The adjusted cohort methodology follows a single cohort of students over four and five years, as outlined by the U.S. Department of Education. This method makes no modification for students whose expected graduation timeframe is longer than four years. In other words, it does not allow “cohort reassignment” for special education or limited English proficiency students. The calculation also adjusts for students who transferred into a Washington public high school for the first time and joined the cohort. Similarly, students who are confirmed transfers out of public school in Washington are removed from the calculation.
The key is that students are placed in a cohort based strictly on their first time entering ninth grade; thus it is a more rigorous metric than Washington’s traditional graduation calculation. Students are permitted to take additional time to graduate, but will not be counted as on-time graduates if it takes longer than four years to complete, and will not be considered five-year graduates if they take longer than five years."