Maryland State

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Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate

The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate is the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for the graduating class. For any given cohort, students who are entering grade 9 for the first time form a cohort that is subsequently “adjusted” by adding any students who transfer into the cohort later during the next three years and subtracting any students who transfer out, emigrates to another country, or dies during that same period. This definition is defined in federal regulation 34 C.F.R. §200.19(b) (1) (i)-(iv).

The four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate strictly adheres to section 1111(b) (2) (C) (vi) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which defines graduation rate as the “percentage of students who graduate from secondary school with a regular diploma in the standard number of years.”

The four-year graduation rate is calculated by dividing the number of students who graduate within four years, including the summer following their fourth year of high school, with a regular high school diploma by the number of students who form the adjusted cohort for that graduating class. Students who drop out of high school remain in the adjusted cohort—that is, the denominator of the cohort graduation rate calculation.

The following formula provides an example of the four-year graduation rate for the cohort entering 9th grade for the first time in the fall of the 2006–2007 school year and graduating by the end of the 2009–2010 school year.

Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate
 

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Number of cohort members who earned a regular high school diploma by the end of the 2009–2010 school year.


Number of first-time 9th graders in 2006–2007 school year (starting cohort) plus students who transfer in, minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or die during school years 2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2008–2009, and 2009–2010.

To allow for sufficient time for all relevant data to be collected, aggregated and reported, the Four-Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate is lagged. “Lag” refers to the delayed reporting of a given cohort. Maryland “lags” graduation rate for School Progress determinations.

Lagging the cohort rates provides a more complete picture. By lagging, the summer activities can be attributed to the more appropriate cohort. Additionally, the cohorts‛ fifth year activities can be used for School Progress determinations.

Three-year, four-year and five-year graduation rates included in School Progress determinations for 2010–2011
Rate First-time 9th graders Cohort population Regular high school diploma recipients
Three-year graduation rate 2006–2007 First-time 9th graders in 2006–2007 plus all students who transfer into the cohort minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or die by the summer following the end of the 2008–2009 school year. All students in the cohort population who receive a regular high school diploma within three years including the summer following the end of the 2008–2009 school year.
Four-year graduation rate 2006–2007 First-time 9th graders in 2006–2007 plus all students who transfer into the cohort minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or die by the summer following the end of the 2009–2010 school year. All students in the cohort population who receive a regular high school diploma within four years including the summer following the end of the 2009–2010 school year.
Five-year graduation rate 2006–2007 First-time 9th graders in 2006–2007 plus all students who transfer into the cohort minus students who transfer out, emigrate, or die by the end of the 2010–2011 school year. All students in the cohort population who receive a regular high school diploma within five years or less by the end of the 2010–2011 school year.