DE School Dropout Statistics 94-95

  • Delaware's Dropouts and High School Completers 1994-1995

    1. Foreword
    2. Executive Summary
    3. Introduction
    4. Definitions
    5. Procedures
    6. Types of Calculations
    7. Data Limitations
    8. Annual Dropout Rate Results
      State Summary - Overall
      State Summary - By Race
      State Summary - By Grade
      State Summary - By Grade and Race
      State Summary - By Gender and Race
      State Summary - By Age
      State Summary - By Reason
      State Summary - Delaware Dropouts, Grades 7 and 8
      County Summary - By Race
      County Summary - By Grade
      District Summary - Overall
      School Summary - Overall
    9. Cohort Graduation Rates
    10. Estimated Cohort Graduation Rates
      James H. Groves Adult High School
    11. Conclusions and Implications
    12. Annual Dropout Rates
      Four-year Cohort and Five-year Cohort Graduation Rates
      NCES Graduation Rate
      Summary
    13. Appendix A - Alternative Education Programs
    14. Appendix B - Definitions
    15. Appendix C - Procedure for Tracking of Statewide Student Cohort Groups

    For further information or explanation, please contact:

    Tommy Tao

    Email: qtao@state.de.us
    Townsend Building
    Dover, DE 19901

    (302) 735-4140

    Foreword

    Reports describing the extent and character of public school dropouts in Delaware have been published by the Department of Education since 1973. This study brings together information on high school dropouts and high school completers and provides summary information by state, county, district and school.

    For several years the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in cooperation with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) coordinated a task force consisting of 29 states, outlying areas and the District of Columbia for the purpose of developing definitions and reporting procedures for a national dropout statistic and completer statistic. The Delaware dropout definition and completer definition in effect since the 1992-1993 school year is consistent with the recommendations of this task force.

    This report was created by Dr. Robert Boozer. We are extremely fortunate to have someone of his caliber in the department as he has had a significant role in the development of the dropout and completer definitions at the national level working with the CCSSO and NCES.

    A variety of data is analyzed in this report for the purpose of examining both dropout and completer information by race, grade, age, gender, for special and regular education programs.

    We also wish to express our appreciation to the public schools of Delaware and the Brandywine Data Service Center for their valuable assistance in providing the basic data used in this report.

    Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., Ph.D.

    State Superintendent

    Department of Education

    1994-1995
    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Annual Statistics (Dropout Rates)

    • Last year, out of 29,994 students enrolled in grades 9 through 12, 1,389 students left school.
    • The statewide annual dropout rate for school year 1994-95 was 4.6 percent.
    • Of the 1,389 dropouts, 62% were male and 38% were female.
    • Dropout rates were higher for minorities. African American/Black students dropped out at the rate of 5.8 percent, Hispanic students at the rate of 7.5 percent, and White/Other students at the rate of 4.0 percent.
    • In terms of absolute numbers, the majority of the state's dropouts were White/Other (55.4 percent).
    • Most dropouts left school in either the 9th or 10th grade (62.2 percent).
    • Most dropouts left school when they were 16 or 17 years of age (60.8 percent), a reflection of the compulsory school attendance law requiring attendance at school between 5 and 16 years of age.

    Long-Term Statistics (Cohort Graduation Rates based on the Class of 1994)

    • Out of 6,180 students in the Class of 1994, 4,548 graduated within four years, representing a 73.6% four-year graduation rate.
    • Out of 6,180 students in the Class of 1994, an additional 157 students graduated a year late for a total of4,705 graduates within five years, representing a 76.1% five-year graduation rate.
    • By including the 1994 evening school diploma graduates and GED recipients who were 19 years of age or under as part of the graduating Class of 1994, the resulting five-year graduation rate increases to approximately 86%.
    • Long-Term Statistics (Cohort Graduation Rates based on the Class of 1995)

      • Out of 6,278 students in the Class of 1995 ninth grade cohort who did not transfer out of the Delaware public school system, 4,628 graduated within four years, representing a 73.7% four-year graduation rate.
      • All minorities have shown an improved graduation rate between the Classes of 1994 and 1995.

      DELAWARE'S DROPOUTS AND HIGH SCHOOL COMPLETERS
      1994-1995

      INTRODUCTION

      The dropout statistic is an important indicator of the success or failure of a school system and increasing the high school graduation rate has been set as a state and national education goal.

      Determining the extent and character of the state's dropout problem is a necessary step in a comprehensive program of identification, intervention, and recovery of students who are educationally at-risk. The Data Analysis and Reporting Team, Assessments and Accountability Branch, of the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) annually collects information from the state's secondary schools concerning students who leave school and those who complete successfully. This report summarizes that information for the 1994-1995 school year.

      In addition to presenting an analysis of Delaware's annual dropout rate, an analysis of the four- and five-year graduation rates for the Classes of 1994 and 1995 are presented. These are estimates of graduation rates for a cohort of students who are tracked from the ninth grade through graduation four or five years later.


      DEFINITIONS

      For background information, there are alternative educational programs in the state that affect the dropout statistics. Programs that affect dropout status-namely, the Alternative Secondary Education Program and direct student transfers to James H. Groves Adult High School-were implemented within the state during the 1989-1990 school year. Appendix A contains a description of these programs.

      The dropout definition was revised in 1989-90 to reflect the fact that students who exercise these new options are not classified as dropouts.

      In 1992-93, the dropout definition was again revised to reflect a change in the National Council for Education Statistics (NCES) dropout definition to allow the dropout count to be adjusted to exclude students who returned and are in school on September 30 of the following school year (September 30, 1995). Appendix B contains complete definitions of dropouts and successful completers


      PROCEDURES

      Delaware is one of a growing number of states that currently has the capability to maintain a complete dropout database at the state level which contains individual student records, rather than aggregate counts.

      It contains the names and addresses of students who drop out, as well as demographic information such as grade, gender, race, date of birth, reason for dropping out, and category of exceptionality. This set of variables has been collected consistently since the 1978-1979 school year.

      For the school year from July 1994 through June 1995, the districts reported a total of 1,502 dropouts, which equated to a dropout rate of 5.0 percent.

      At the end of the 1994-95 school year, the public school districts were asked to submit the names of all students who had withdrawn from public day school for the purpose of transferring to the James H. Groves Adult High school. The principals of the six Groves High Schools reviewed the list of transfers and noted those students who had successfully met the enrollment requirements for the Groves High School program. Those students who were not so noted (337 students) were counted as dropouts from the sending or "home" district. This resulted in a significant increase in the statewide dropout rate (from 5.0 percent to 6.1 percent).

      The 1994-95 dropout definition also requires that the dropout count be adjusted to exclude students who returned and who were in school on September 30, 1995. This adjustment is made for all students who drop out during the summer preceding the school year (1994 summer dropouts) and for students who drop out during the current school term (1994-1995).

      The September 30 adjustment was made by "mapping" the 1994-95 dropout file against the September 30, 1995 Delaware Student Information System (DELSIS) database, to identify those students previously reported as dropouts who had returned to school. This mapping process identified 450 students who returned to school in September 1995, resulting in a decrease in the statewide dropout rate from 6.1 percent to 4.6 percent.


      TYPES OF CALCULATIONS

      The present report relies on two general types of statistical computations: annual statistics and long-term (i.e., four-year) statistics. These include the following:

      1. Annual statistics.

      The Annual Dropout Rate is the ratio of dropouts in a single year to enrollment expressed as a percentage. Enrollment figures used as the denominators for rate computations are obtained from the fall enrollment count.

      The Percent of All Dropouts is a ratio of a subset of dropouts to all dropouts expressed as a percentage. For example, this computation may be used to express the number of 9th grade dropouts as a percentage of dropouts in all four grades. Depending on the question of interest, however, the denominator may also be a subset of all dropouts in the state. In this case, we could express the number of 9th grade dropouts in Sussex County as a percentage of dropouts in all four grades in Sussex County alone.

      2. Long-term statistics.

      The computation of the Cohort Graduation Rate is based on the capability of tracking the high school experience of each member of the ninth grade cohort. After four years of high school, each member of the ninth grade cohort will be identified as either (1) a graduate, (2) still in school, (3) a transfer, (4) a dropout or (5) a withdrawal due to illness or death.

      A four-year cohort graduation rate may then be calculated by dividing the number of cohort graduates after four years of high school by the total 9th grade cohort less the number of transfers and the number of students who withdrew during the four years due to illness or death.

      For three years following the normal on-time graduation date for a given cohort, the cohort database will be updated to include late graduates and make corrections regarding the number of students still in school, the number of dropouts and the number of transfers. After each annual update, a corrected cohort graduation rate will be calculated.


      DATA LIMITATIONS

      The definitions and methods used in the Delaware dropout accounting system basically rely upon the dependability of administrative record-keeping at the school and/or district level. The chief limitation is uncertainty in separating dropouts from transfers. Schools do not in all cases consistently request transcripts of students from their former schools, nor is there a consistent standard for the time frame within which such requests should be initiated and honored. These factors mean that there is a potential for over counting of dropouts. To the extent that these factors vary across districts and schools, comparisons between schools and districts are affected. This problem occurs with both annual and long-term computations.

      Students who transfer to Groves Adult High School, meeting all enrollment criteria, who drop out after the current year are not presently tracked and counted as dropouts.

      The Data Analysis and Reporting Team has developed the Delaware Student Information System (DELSIS), a statewide master student database. This database more accurately tracks students who drop out and re-enter either public or private schools. The system also will eventually track students who subsequently enroll in Groves Adult High School, GED programs, and other alternative secondary education programs within the state. The Delaware Student Information System (DELSIS) was used in identifying those 1994-95 dropouts who re-entered the public school system in the Fall of 1995. Students so identified were deleted from the 1994-95 dropout file.

      Annual Dropout Rate Results

      Results of the annual dropout study are presented in the following tables and charts aggregated by state, county, district and school.

      State Summary

      Overall

      Last year, 1,389 students out of an enrollment of 29,994 in grades 9-12 left school. This represents an annual dropout rate of 4.6 percent. Various characteristics of the state's dropouts are listed in Table 1.

      Table 1
      Delaware Dropouts, Grades 9-12

      (Total=1,389)

        Annual Dropout Rate (%) Percent of All Dropouts
      TOTAL
       

      4.6

      100.0

      By Gender
      Male

      5.6

      62.0

      Female

      3.6

      38.0

      By Race/Ethnicity
      American Indian

      1.2

      0.0

      African American

      5.8

      35.3

      Asian

      3.1

      1.2

      Hispanic

      7.5

      5.6

      White

      4.0

      57.8

      By Age
      Less than 16

      1.6

      18.3

      16

      5.8

      29.9

      17

      7.8

      30.9

      Greater than 17

      19.0

      21.0

      Figure 1 shows the state's annual dropout rates for the past 16 years in grades 9 through 12. This graph indicates that the rate remained fairly constant at about eight percent annually for the first three years, then dropped somewhat until 1989, to within the 6.9 - 7.6 percent range.

      It should be noted that the dropout rate definition was changed in 1989-1990 to allow transfers to James H. Groves Adult High School or Alternative Secondary Education Programs, including the Delaware Adolescent Programs Incorporated (DAPI), not to be counted as dropouts. As the alternative education programs increased across the state in FY 90, FY 91 and FY 92, the dropout rate declined significantly to 6.6, 5.7 and 4.0 respectively.

      The reversal in the past three years to a dropout rate of 4.6 percent reflects a refinement in the data collection procedure which allows for the accounting of those students who withdrew from the home school for the stated purpose of transferring to Groves High School, but who subsequently failed to enroll. These students are now counted as dropouts from the home school. A further refinement in the data collection procedure allows for the deletion from the dropout files of those dropouts who returned to school during the following September (see Procedures, page 1).

      Figure image 1

      By Race

      Figure 2 displays trends in the annual dropout rates for African American/Black, Hispanic, and White/Other ethnic groups over the past 16 years. This chart shows that the rate for African Americans/Blacks decreased steadily between 1980 and 1983, leveled off from 1983 through 1986, then climbed for two years, reaching a plateau of about 10 percent for three years and declined over the past five years to 5.8 percent in FY 95.

      The rate for Hispanics peaked dramatically in the first half of the decade, then peaked again less sharply in the last half, and decreased substantially over the past six years to 7.5 percent. Prior to FY 93, Hispanics consistently had the highest dropout rates followed by African American/Black and White/Other.

      The rate for White/Other, which gradually crept upward from 1983 through 1986 to 7.1 percent, has since declined over the past nine years to 4.0 percent.

      Figure image 2

      Figure 3 shows that, statewide, the 1994-95 annual dropout rate is highest among Hispanic students (7.5 percent) and lowest among White/Other students (4.0 percent).

      Figure 3

      Figure image 3

      Figure 4 displays the subsets by race compared to the total number of dropouts (1,389). Over one half (59.1 percent) of all dropouts were White/Other.

      Figure 4

      Figure image 4

      By Grade

      A breakdown of the state's dropouts by grade is presented in Figures 5 and 6. These figures show that the 1994-95 annual dropout rate for the State of Delaware is highest among 10th graders (5.4 percent) and lowest among 12th graders (4.0 percent). Of the 1,389 dropouts, 31.3 percent were 9th graders while 16.9 percent were 12th graders.

       

      Figure image 5

      Figure image 6

      By Grade by Race

      Table 2 shows the number of dropouts by grade level and race. Table 3 shows that the highest African American/Black dropout rate occurs in grade ten (6.8 percent), Hispanic in grade eleven (8.0 percent), and White/Other in grade ten (4.7 percent).

      Table 2
      Delaware Dropouts and Student Enrollments, 1994-1995
      Grade by Race

        Number of Enrolled Students Number of Dropouts
      Grade Black Hispanic White / Other All Black Hispanic White / Other All
      9 2,941 364 6,164 9,469 173 27 235 435
      10 2,233 312 5,434 7,979 151 23 255 429
      11 1,758 201 4,722 6,681 94 16 180 290
      12 1,467 158 4,240 4,865 72 12 151 235
      Total 8,399 1,035 20,560 29,994 490 78 821 1,389

      Table 3
      Dropout Rate and Percent of All Dropouts, 1994-1995
      Grade by Race

        Annual Dropout Rate Percent of All Dropouts
      Grade Black Hispanic White / Other All Black Hispanic White / Other All
      9 5.9 7.4 3.8 4.6 12.5 1.9 16.9 31.3
      10 6.8 7.4 4.7 5.4 10.9 1.7 18.4 30.9
      11 5.3 8.0 3.8 4.3 6.8 1.2 13.0 20.9
      12 4.9 7.6 3.6 4.0 5.2 0.9 10.9 16.9
      Total 5.8 7.5 4.0 4.6 35.3 5.6 59.1 100.0

      By Gender by Race

      Tables 4 and 5 show that males have a higher dropout rate with an overall rate of 5.6 percent compared to the female rate of 3.6 percent. Hispanic males have the highest dropout rate of all categories with 9.8 percent.

      Table 4
      Delaware Dropouts and Student Enrollments, 1994-1995
      Gender by Race

        Number of Enrolled Students Number of Dropouts
      Gender Black Hispanic White / Other All Black Hispanic White / Other All
      Male 4,166 539 10,673 15,378 291 53 517 861
      Female 4,233 496 9,887 14,616 199 25 304 528
      Total 8,399 1,035 20,560 29,994 490 78 821 1,389

      Table 5
      Dropout Rate and Percent of All Dropouts, 1994-1995
      Gender by Race

        Annual Dropout Rate Percent of All Dropouts
      Gender Black Hispanic White / Other All Black Hispanic White / Other All
      Male 7.0 9.8 4.8 5.6 21.0 3.8 37.2 62.0
      Female 4.7 5.0 3.1 3.6 14.3 1.8 21.9 38.0
      Total 5.8 7.5 4.0 4.6 35.3 5.6 59.1 100.0

      Dropout by Age

      Figure 7 shows that, statewide, the highest dropout rate occurred with students over 17 years of age (19.0 percent). Figure 8 shows that, statewide, the highest percentage of the 1,389 students who dropped out were 17 years of age (30.9 percent).

      Graph showing Dropout rate by Age

      Figure 8

      Graphic Chart of Dropouts by Age

      Table 6 provides an analysis of the extent to which dropouts are over-age, age-appropriate or under-age for the grade level in which they drop out. The percentage of dropouts who are over-age varies from 57.4 percent in the twelfth grade to 95.9 percent in the ninth grade. Overall, over 81 percent of all dropouts in grades 9-12 are over-age for the grade in which they drop out.

      Table 6
      Over-Age, Age-Appropriate, or Under-Age Dropouts 1994-1995
      by Grade Level

        Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12 Grade 9-12
      Age # % # % # % # % # %
      Over-Age 417 95.9 368 85.8 210 72.4 135 57.4 1,130 81.4
      Age

      Appropriate

      15 3.4 54 12.6 70 24.1 83 35.3 222 16.0
      Under-Age 3 0.7 7 1.6 10 3.4 17 7.2 37 2.7
      Total 435 100.0 429 100.0 290 100.0 235 100.0 1,389 100.0

      Dropout by Reason

      The following table shows that, statewide, the highest percentage of the 1,389 dropouts withdrew because of school-related problems (61.3 percent).

      Table 7
      Reasons for Dropping Out 1994-1995
      Grades 9-12

      Reason Number Percent
      School Related
      (Academic, disciplinary, poor attendance)
      851 61.3
      Economic-Related
      (Acquired employment, needed at home)
      60 4.3
      Personal
      (Illness, pregnancy, marriage, child care, over compulsory age)
      111 8.0
      Failed to Enroll in Groves Adult High School after Withdrawal 273 19.7
      Unknown 94 6.8
      Total 1,389 100.0

      Delaware Dropouts Grades 7 and 8

      Although the bulk of the analyses in this report is concerned with dropouts in grades 9 through 12, it is also important to look at dropouts in the earlier grades. Table 8 presents data for those dropouts from grades 7 and 8. Note that because the rates are so low in proportion to the numbers of 7th and 8th grade students, the rates are expressed in "per 1000" units rather than the usual percents in order to make it easier to read the values.

      There are more dropouts by number and rate in grade 8 than in grade 7. Also, the rate is higher in Sussex County than in the other two counties (2.3 dropouts per 1,000 students enrolled in grade 8). Only twenty-two (22) students in grades 7 and 8 dropped out, bringing the total number of dropouts from grades 7 through 12 to 1,411.

      Table 8
      Delaware Dropouts 1994-1995
      Grades 7-8

       

      Grade 7

      Grade 8

        # of Drops Students Enrolled Rate per 1000 Pupils # of Drops Students Enrolled Rate per 1000 Pupils
      New Castle 8 5,121 1.6 9 4,937 1.8
      Kent - 2,004 - 1 1,910 0.5
      Sussex - 1,663 - 4 1,716 2.3
      State 8 8,788 0.9 14 8,563 1.6
      COUNTY SUMMARY

      By Race

      Tables 9 and 10 and Figures 9 and 10 provide a breakdown of the state's dropouts by race and county. These tables show that the annual dropout rates are highest for White/Other (4.1 percent) in New Castle County, highest for Hispanics (10.5 percent) in Sussex County, and highest for African American/Black (6.0 percent) in Sussex County.

      The lowest dropout rates occurred in Kent County where the White/Other rate was 3.8 percent. The lowest dropout rate for African American/Black students and Hispanic students also occurred in Kent County with 5.5 and 5.8 percent respectively.

      Table 9
      Delaware Dropouts and Student Enrollments, 1994-1995
      County by Race

        Number of Enrolled Students Number of Dropouts
      County Black Hispanic White/Other All Black Hispanic White/Other All
      New Castle 5,343 731 11,699 17,773 315 55 484 854
      Kent 1,582 190 4,647 6,419 87 11 176 274
      Sussex 1,474 114 4,214 5,802 88 12 161 261
      State 8,399 1,035 20,560 29,994 490 78 821 1,389

      Table 10
      Dropout Rate and Percent of All Dropouts, 1994-1995
      County by Race

        Annual Dropout Rate Percent of All Dropouts
      County Black Hispanic White/Other All Black Hispanic White/Other All
      New Castle 5.9 7.5 4.1 4.8 36.9 6.4 56.7 100.0
      Kent 5.5 5.8 3.8 4.3 31.8 4.0 64.2 100.0
      Sussex 6.0 10.5 3.8 4.5 33.7 4.6 61.7 100.0
      State 5.8 7.5 4.0 4.6 35.3 5.6 59.1 100.0

      Figure image 7

      Figure image 8

       

      By Grade

      Countywide patterns by grade may be viewed overall in Tables 11 and 12 and Figures 11 and 12. For the ninth grade, the highest dropout rate occurred in Kent County (5.0 percent). For the tenth and eleventh grades, the highest dropout rates occurred in New Castle County with 5.7 and 4.6 percent respectively. For the twelfth grade, the highest dropout rate occurred in Sussex County (4.4 percent). The highest percentage of all dropouts is 31.3 percent in the 9th grade followed by 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in decreasing proportions.

      Table 11
      Delaware Dropouts and Student Enrollments, 1994-1995
      County by Grade

        Number of Enrolled Students Number of Dropouts
      County 9 10 11 12 All 9 10 11 12 All
      New Castle 5,662 4,716 3,930 3,465 17,773 260 269 182 143 854
      Kent 1,995 1,691 1,504 1,229 6,419 99 77 57 41 274
      Sussex 1,812 1,572 1,247 1,171 5,802 76 83 51 51 261
      State 9,469 7,979 6,681 5,865 29,994 435 429 290 235 1,389

      Table 12
      County by Grade

        Annual Dropout Rate Percent of All Dropouts
      County 9 10 11 12 All 9 10 11 12 All
      New Castle 4.6 5.7 4.6 4.1 4.8 30.4 31.5 21.3 16.7 100.0
      Kent 5.0 4.6 3.8 3.3 4.3 36.1 28.1 20.8 15.0 100.0
      Sussex 4.2 5.3 4.1 4.4 4.5 29.1 31.8 19.5 19.5 100.0
      State 4.6 5.4 4.3 4.0 4.6 31.3 30.9 20.9 16.9 100.0

      Figure 11

      Figure image 9

      Figure 12

      Figure image 10
      DISTRICT SUMMARY

      A comparison of the state's dropouts by district for years 1991-92 through 1994-95 is provided in Table 13-a through Table 13-b. Basically, the patterns reveal that the dropout rates for the three counties have stabilized over the past two years.

      The districts reporting the highest dropout rates for 1994-95 are Lake Forest (7.7), Woodbridge (7.5) and Colonial (6.5). The districts reporting the lowest rates are New Castle Vocational Technical (1.2), Smyrna (1.4) and Sussex Vocational Technical (2.8).


      Table 13-a

      Annual Dropout Rates by District

      Grades 9-12

      Dropout Rate by District 92-93


      Table 13-b

      Annual Dropout Rates by District

      Grades 9-12

      Annual Dropout Rate by District 92-93


      Table 13-c

      Annual Dropout Rates by District

      Grades 9-12

      Annual Dropout Rate by District 93-94

      Table 13-d

      Annual Dropout Rates by District

      Grades 9-12

      Annual Dropout Rate by District, 94-95


      School Summary


      The next four tables present a breakdown of the state's dropouts by school for the years 1991-92 through 1994-95.

      The presentation of dropout statistics computed at the district and the school level may encourage misleading comparisons between the districts and the schools with respect to the effectiveness of their educational programs. Such comparisons are debatable because different school systems serve different student populations who may have differential tendencies to drop out of school. Thus, firm conclusions about the school programs based only on dropout data are unwarranted. Nevertheless, dropout statistics computed at the district and school level may be useful gross indicators of the challenges facing our schools. These indicators are included in the State Profile Reports.


      Table 14-a

      Annual Dropout Rates by School

      Grades 9-12

      Figure image 11


      Table 14-b

      Annual Dropout Rates by School

      Grades 9-12

      School Dropout Rates 1992-93


      Table 14-c

      Annual Dropout Rates by School

      Grades 9-12

      School Dropout Rate 1993-94


      Table 14-d

      Annual Dropout Rates by School

      Grades 9-12

      School Dropout Rate 1994-95


      COHORT GRADUATION RATES

      The following figures and tables present a different statistic from those previously discussed in this report, namely, four-year and five-year cohort graduation rates. The definitions for these statistics are presented earlier in the Definitions section.

      Cohort Graduation Rate

      Through the development of the Delaware Student Information System (DELSIS), the Department of Education will have the capability of tracking the high school experience of each member of the 9th grade cohort for the Class of 1996. Each member of the 9th grade cohort will be identified in one of the following seven categories:

      1. Cohort Categories

      2. Early Graduate
      3. On-time Graduate
      4. Late Graduate
      5. Still in School
      6. Transfer
      7. Dropout
      8. Illness/Death

      For the Class of 1996, a true graduation rate will be computed by dividing the total number of early, on-time and late graduates by the total cohort less the number of transfers and the number of students who withdrew because of illness or death. The ratio is then converted to a percentage as follows:

      Graduation Rate = (Number of Graduates)/(Total 9th grade cohort-Transfers-Illnessor death)


      Estimated Cohort Graduation Rate

      In this report it is possible to estimate the graduation rate for both the Class of 1994 and the Class of 1995.

      The number of dropouts for the Class of 1994 cohort and the Class of 1995 cohort was estimated by determining the total number of annual dropouts from each class over their four-year high school experience (e.g. for the Class of 1994 the number of dropouts would be the sum of the number of freshmen dropouts in 1990-91, sophomore dropouts in 1991-92, junior dropouts in 1992-93, and senior dropouts in 1993-94).

      The number of transfers for the Class of 1994 cohort and Class of 1995 cohort was estimated as the number of students from each of these classes who are not otherwise accounted for by being either a graduate, a dropout or still enrolled in school.

      Table 15 summarizes the relationship among the ninth grade cohort and the total number of dropouts, transfers, graduates and students still enrolled after four years and five years, respectively.

      Based on the experiences of the Classes of 1994 and 1995, approximately 1,700 students would be expected to transfer to other schools and educational programs outside of the Delaware Public School system prior to their graduation four years later.

      Of the 6,180 students in the 9th grade cohort of the Class of 1994 who did not transfer out of the Delaware Public School system, (i.e., 7,869 less 1,689) 4,548 or 73.6% graduated after a four year period.

      Of the 6,278 students in the 9th grade cohort of the Class of 1995 who did not transfer out of the Delaware public school system (i.e., 8,085 less 1,807), 4,628 or 73.7% graduated after a four year period.

      Of the 6,180 students in the 9th grade cohort of the Class of 1994 who did not transfer out of the Delaware public school system (i.e., 7,869 less 1,689), 4,705 or 76.1% graduated after a five year period.

      Table 15
      Ninth Grade Cohort, Dropouts, Still-Enrolled, Transfers and Graduates
      After Four-Year and Five-Year Periods
      Class of 1994 and Class of 1995

      Class of Ninth Grade Cohort Number of Dropouts Still Enrolled Number of Transfers Number of Graduates Graduation Rate
          After Four-Year Period
      1994 7,869 1,310 322 1,689 4,548 73.6%
      1995 8,085 1,217 433 1,807 4,628 73.7%
          After Five-Year Period
      1994 7,869 1,368 113 1,689 4,705 76.1%
      1995 (Still in Progress)          

      James H. Groves Adult High School

      The James H. Groves Adult High School program is state funded and administered through the Office of the Education Associate of Equity and Special Programs, Department of Education. It is a state-approved secondary school and has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. The purpose of the Groves High School is to provide Delaware adults and out-of-school youth with an opportunity to complete their high school education and earn a regular high school diploma.

      In June 1964, the Delaware Legislature established and funded the Adult High School diploma program which was named in honor of James H. Groves, the first State Superintendent of Education in Delaware.

      A main purpose of collecting dropout data from each school district is to provide the names and addresses of these students to the principals of each Groves site so they can inform the out-of-school youth about alternative opportunities to resume their high school studies.

      Groves High School has produced a total of 12,180 diploma graduates since its inception in 1964. The number of students receiving high school diplomas each year from 1964 through 1994 is shown in Figure 21 and Table 24.

      The number of Groves graduates and total enrollment has increased sharply over the past six years since the Alternative Secondary Education Program has been in effect. Since the 1989-90 school year, students may either (1) earn credit through Groves which may be transferred to their home school where they would graduate after completion of all requirements or (2) transfer directly to Groves where they would graduate after completion of all requirements. The success of this program may account in part for the recent decline in dropout rate.

      Figure image 12

      Table 24
      Groves Adult High School Diploma Graduates
      Class of 1964 Through 1995

      Year of Graduation

      New Castle County

      Kent County

      Sussex County

      State

      1964 3 0 0 3
      1965 27 15 10 52
      1966 45 24 16 85
      1967 60 30 30 120
      1968 92 33 32 148
      1969 83 34 33 150
      1970 97 35 61 193
      1971 102 76 56 234
      1972 120 92 77 289
      1973 86 74 77 237
      1974 91 76 71 238
      1975 143 58 86 287
      1976 174 61 76 311
      1977 203 44 65 312
      1978 183 85 69 337
      1979 213 52 94 359
      1980 249 80 121 450
      1981 304 98 148 550
      1982 356 126 200 682
      1983 309 116 143 568
      1984 306 89 118 513
      1985 330 95 79 504
      1986 331 105 116 552
      1987 288 72 119 479
      1988 231 68 127 426
      1989 263 79 100 442
      1990 289 89 97 475
      1991 349 80 87 516
      1992 391 101 108 600
      1993 410 107 146 663
      1994 435 127 129 691
      1995 460 145 100 705

      NOTE: In 1982, GED recipients were given diplomas, which accounts for the larger number of graduates in that year.

      CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

      Annual Dropout Rates

      The recent decline in annual dropout rate from 7.3 percent in 1989 to 4.6 percent in 1995 can be attributed in part to the success of the Alternative Secondary Education Program established within many high schools in conjunction with James H. Groves Adult High School and to the policy which allows at-risk youth the opportunity to transfer directly to Groves. (See Figure 1, Page 5.)

      Figure 22 shows the relationship between the dropout rate and the number of students enrolled in the Groves Alternative Education Program since 1989.

      Figure image 13

      It can be seen that as the enrollment in the alternative program increased to 931 students between 1989 and 1992, the dropout rate declined from 7.3 to 4.0., a decline of 46 percent.

      According to the Office of Adult Education of the Department of Education, a reduction in funding for two years resulted in a reduction in the enrollment in the Groves Alternative Program from 931 students in 1991-92 to 776 students in 1993-94. Likewise, the reduced enrollment in the Groves Alternative Program has resulted in an increase in the dropout rate from 4.0 students in 1991-92 to 4.6 students in 1993-94.

      In order to quantify the relationship between the Groves Alternative Program enrollment and the dropout rate, Table 25 provides the results of a correlation study for the years 1989-90 three 1994-95.

      Table 25
      Correlation Study
      Groves Alternative Education Program vs. Number of Dropouts
      1990 through 1994

      Year Groves Alternative Enrollment Number of Dropouts Dropout Rate

      1989-90

      651

      1,801

      6.6

      1990-91

      691

      1,541

      5.8

      1991-92

      931

      1,105

      4.0

      1992-93

      757

      1,187

      4.2

      1993-94

      776

      1,343

      4.6

      1994-95

      968

      1,389

      4.6

      Correlation = -0.7357

      Variance = 54%

      A coefficient of correlation is a single number that reveals to what extent two variables are related. In other words, to what extent do variations in Groves Alternative Program enrollment relate to variations in number of dropouts. The correlation coefficient of -0.7357 is negative since the number of dropouts tend to go down when the alternative enrollment goes up. Likewise, the number of dropouts tends to go up when the enrollment goes down.

      Fifty-four percent of the variation in the number of dropouts is explained, or accounted for, by the variation in the number of students enrolled in the Groves Alternative Program. The square of the coefficient of correlation equals the total variation which is explained, and in this case, is indicative of a strong relationship.


      Four-Year Cohort and Five-Year Cohort Graduation Rates

      The Data Analysis and Reporting Team is currently improving the Delaware Student Information System (DELSIS), a statewide master student database. This database will allow tracking of students who drop out and re-enter either public or private schools, and will allow a cohort of ninth graders to be tracked throughout their high school career. This will eliminate the need for estimating the number of transfers and the number of dropouts after four years as was done in this study for the Classes of 1994 and 1995. This comprehensive tracking system will allow for the computation of an actual graduation rate for the Class of 1996.

      The estimates provided in this study indicate that there is a slight improvement in the four-year cohort graduation rate between the Class of 1994 and the Class of 1995, from 73.6 percent to 73.7 percent. Between 1994 and 1995 the graduation rate for Black students increased from 60.2 percent to 60.7 percent, while the graduation rate for Hispanic students increased from 55.8 percent to 60.9 percent.

      There is a significant difference between the four-year cohort graduation rate and the five-year cohort graduation rate for the Class of 1994, from 73.6 percent to 76.1 percent. The graduation rate for Black students increased from 60.2 percent to 64.5 percent between the fourth and fifth year after entering the ninth grade, while the graduation rate for Hispanic students increased from 55.8 percent to 60.9 percent.


      NCES Graduation Rate

      By including the 1994 evening school diploma graduates and the GED recipients, who were 19 and under, as part of the graduating Class of 1994, the resulting five-year cohort graduation rate for the Class of 1994 is approximately 86 percent. This graduation rate seems to be a reasonable estimate in light of the national high school completion rates of 86 percent published in 1995 by the National Education Goals Panel. The high school completion rates published by the Panel were defined as the percentage of 18 to 24 year olds, not in school, who hold a high school credential.

      Another study reported by the Panel shows that 61 percent, nearly two-thirds of all tenth graders who drop out of school can be expected to return and obtain a high school credential.

      Most of these dropouts will complete requirements for a high school credential within four years. If 61 percent of the dropouts of the Class of 1994 return for a high school credential (831 students), the resulting graduation rate for that class would be 90 percent (i.e., 5,536 graduates

      divided by 6,180 ninth grade enrollment less transfers). The National Education Goals Panel has defined Goal Number 2 on School Completion as follows: "By the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent."

      Therefore, to the extent that the estimated 61 percent of the dropouts of the Class of 1994 return for an evening school diploma or GED credential over the next four years, we will reach the national goal of a graduation rate of 90 percent by 1998.

      The high school completion rates for 18 to 24 year olds by racial/ethnic category for the nation is reported by the National Education Goals Panel as follows: 83 percent for Black students, 62 percent for Hispanic students, 91 percent for White students and 86 percent for all students. At the present time, we are unable to obtain racial/ethnic data on Delaware Evening School diploma graduates or GED recipients. However, as the student database, DELSIS, is developed in the future, this information will become available for evening school diploma graduates.

      Table 26
      Estimated Delaware Five-Year Graduation Rate Including and Estimate of Evening School
      Diploma Graduates and GEDs Class of 1994

      Class of 1994 Ninth Grade Enrollment (September 1991)   7,869
      Class of 1994 Cohort Transfers   1,689
      Class of 1994 Cohort Less Transfers   6,180
           
      Class of 1994 Cohort Day-School Graduates   4,705
      *Early Diploma/Certificate Graduates 138  
      *On-Time Diploma/Certificate Graduates 4,410  
      *Late Diploma/Certificate Graduates 157  
           
      Class of 1994 Evening School Graduates, Estimate   594
      *Groves High School Diploma Graduates (19 and Under) 235  
      *G.E.D. Recipients (19 & Under) 359  
           
      Class of 1994 Graduates, Total   5,299
           
      Estimated Five-Year Graduation Rate (5,299/6,180)   85.7%

      Figure 23
      Estimated Five-Year Graduation Rate for Day-School Graduates vs.
      All Day and Evening School Diploma Graduates and GED's, Class of 1994

      Figure image 14

      Summary

      The State of Delaware has a vital interest in understanding and dealing with the conditions that lead to the decision to drop out of school. The State Board of Education in its Goals and Mission Statement is committed both to increasing the four-year graduation rate and in the development of data collection and analysis procedures to support monitoring and reporting of educational indicators. The dropout rate and graduation rate are two very important educational indicators.

      As can be seen from the data presented in this study, local districts have experienced a high degree of success in implementing "stay-in-school" alternative programs over the past four years.

      The minorities have benefited by the recent decline in dropout rates as witnessed by the significant decrease in Hispanic and African American/Black dropout rates over the past six years.

      APPENDIX A

      ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS

      There are three types of programs that may be considered alternative education programs for secondary school-age youngsters in the state. These are:

      1. General Educational Development Test (GED). Students take a test to earn a high school equivalency credential (not a high school diploma). They may prepare for this test in a number of ways, which may include course work obtained through a variety of sources. Individuals must be officially withdrawn from high school to take the GED.
      2. Direct Transfer to James H. Groves Adult High School. This option refers to students whose school principals recommend transfer directly to Groves Adult High School rather than dropping out. Students are considered officially transferred after the Groves principal enrolls the student and the student has attended one class. After completing the program, students earn a high school diploma issued by the James H. Groves Adult High School.
      3. Groves Alternative Secondary Education Program. Under this option, students continue their education in their home school in conjunction with Groves Adult High School under a flexible schedule that may involve attendance during extended-day, Adult High, and extended-year scheduling. Students ultimately receive high school diplomas from their home high schools. Students, to be eligible, must remain enrolled at the high school day program or work study program for at least one credit.

      Prior to the 1989-90 school year, students who wished to attend James H. Groves Adult High School were required to be officially withdrawn from high school for a period of six months before entry. These students were officially categorized as dropouts. In July 1989, with the revision of the Delaware Handbook for K-12 Education, options 2 and 3 became available. Students in these categories are not classified as dropouts, and are not counted in the dropout figures over the past four years. This is consistent with the definition of dropouts which was developed and field tested by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).


      APPENDIX B

      DEFINITIONS

      The following Delaware definitions are consistent with the recommendations of the National Forum on Education Statistics and the Council of Chief State School Officer's (CCSSO) Task Force for the collection of comparable state dropout data for the U.S. Department of Education.

      School Dropouts

      The definition of a dropout used in the 1994-1995 Delaware data collection is as follows:

      A dropout is an individual who:

      1. Was enrolled...at the end of the 1993-94 school year, or at any time during the 1994-95 school year;
      2. Was not enrolled on September 30, 1995;
      3. Has not graduated from high school or completed a state- or district- approved educational program; and
      4. Does not meet any of the following exclusionary conditions: Transfer to another public school district, private school, or state- or district-approved education program, Temporary absence due to suspension or school-approved illness, or Death.

      Several criteria for inclusion in the dropout figures are as follows:

      1. Grades included are 9 through 1This range has been used consistently for reporting purposes since the 1979-1980 school year. Information is also collected on dropouts from grades 7 and 8, enabling the reporting of supplemental statistics concerning these grades.
      2. Summer 1994 dropouts are included (i.e., students who were expected to enroll in grades 7-12 in the fall of 1994, but did not do so).
      3. Special schools and special students are included.
      4. If a student has moved and there is no evidence that he/she has transferred to another school, he/she is counted as a dropout.
      5. Students who transfer to James H. Groves Adult High School, and subsequently drop out during the current school year are counted as dropouts from the home school.
      6. Expelled students are counted as dropouts unless they have the option to return to school at the end of the disciplinary period. Those students who have the option to return but do not do so are counted as dropouts.
      7. School leavers who are in correctional institutions are counted as dropouts.
      8. School leavers who have joined the Armed Forces are counted as dropouts.

      Several criteria for not being included in the dropout figures are as follows:

      1. Students receiving a diploma or a "Record of Performance" are not reported as dropouts.
      2. Transfers to James H. Groves Adult High School or the Groves Alternative Secondary Education Programs, or DAPI, are not reported as dropouts.
      3. Transfers to another public or private school are not reported as dropouts.
      4. Students who returned to school in September 1995 are removed from the dropout list.
      5. Students enrolled in alternative education programs are not counted as dropouts if the program is administered or approved by the district, considered a grade 7-12 program, and leads to a recognized secondary completion credential.
      6. Students who die or withdraw because of illness are not reported as dropouts.

      School Completers

      The National Center of Educational Statistics definition for a high school completer is an individual who receives a completion credential in one of four mutually exclusive categories as follows:

      1. Regular diploma, traditional day-school program (Day School Diploma). Includes those receiving regular diplomas upon completion of all course and performance requirements during the previous school year and the subsequent summer. Includes gifted, honors, and magnet programs and early college admissions programs meeting or exceeding regular diploma criteria. (Excludes nontraditional programs not listed; General Educational Development [GED]; and credentials granted for meeting requirements less or other than [but not exceeding] those for the regular diploma.)
      2. Regular diploma, nontraditional program. (James H. Groves Adult High School Diploma) Includes those receiving diplomas upon completion of course and performance requirements for regular diplomas through nontraditional or alternative programs. Includes those granted home school diplomas upon completion of the Alternative Secondary Education Program jointly sponsored by the home school and James H. Groves Adult High School; and those granted diplomas through James H. Groves Adult High School (who are 19 years of age and under). (Excludes Adult High School graduates, all GED recipients, and those receiving credentials granted for meeting requirements less or other than but not exceeding those for the regular diploma.)
      3. General Educational Development (GED) . Includes those receiving credentials who are 19 years of age or under upon completion of GED testing.
      4. Other completers. (Record of Performance). Includes those receiving a credential for meeting criteria that do not include course and performance requirements for the regular diploma; includes all students receiving certificates of performance. (Excludes GED).

      APPENDIX C

      PROCEDURE FOR TRACKING OF STATEWIDE STUDENT COHORT GROUPS

      Cohort Group Identification

      Students entering the ninth grade for the first time on September 30th will be coded with a cohort year code corresponding to the on-time year of graduation.

      Tracking of Withdrawals, Exit Codes

      As the cohort group progresses through high school, each student who withdraws will be given an appropriate exit code and exit date, (assuming the cooperation of all school districts), which will identify the student in one of the following categories:

      • Transfer
      • Dropout (including expulsion)*
      • District recognized illness
      • Death

      *Note: A student who is temporarily suspended is not considered a dropout. The exit codes utilized by school districts are not restricted to the above four categories. (See DPI exit code list)

      Graduation Year Status Codes

      At the end of the cohort graduation year, including summer school, all members of the cohort group will be given an appropriate status code by DPI which identifies the student in one of the following seven categories (graduates will include the recipients of both diplomas and certificates of performance):

      • Early graduate
      • On-time graduate
      • Late graduate*
      • Still in school
      • Transfer
      • Dropout
      • Illness/Death

      *Note: For three years after the on-time graduation of the cohort group, the cohort files will be updated to identify those students whose graduation was delayed by 1, 2, or 3 years.

      Annual Tracking Identification

      Each year after the September 30th survey, the Data Analysis and Reporting Team will prepare a listing of all students who (1) were enrolled at the end of the previous school year and (2) were not enrolled on September 30th of the new school year and (3) whose September 30th record does not contain a valid exit code and exit date. These listings will be submitted in the fall to each school district for additional tracking identification. Those students not identified as transfers will be coded as dropouts in the cohort group, and will be counted as summer dropouts for the current school year. This procedure will force all students to be coded with one of the above seven status codes, thus eliminating all unknowns.


      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION CONTRIBUTORS

      ASSESSMENTS AND ACCOUNTABILITY BRANCH

      Marsha' T. DeLain-Horton, Ph.D., Associate Secretary

      DATA ANALYSIS AND REPORTING TEAM

      Thomas V. Soltys, Ed.D., Director, Data Acquisition, Reporting and Technology Management

      Robert F. Boozer, Ph.D., Education Associate, Retired

      Diane C. Wojtkiewicz, Secretary