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Related Research


Diploma Options, Graduation Requirements, and Exit Exams for Youth with Disabilities: 2011 National Study  (2012)

This is the fifth in a series of similar studies on state graduation policies and diploma options conducted by the Institute's National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO). The present study was undertaken to update the status of graduation policies across the nation. It follows up on previous work, the last study having been conducted in 2006-2007. Three research questions served as the focus of this national study of high school graduation requirements and diploma options for students with and without disabilities:

  1. What is the range and variation in state graduation requirements and diploma options across the United States for students with and without disabilities?
  2. What are the intended and unintended consequences that result for students when they are required to pass exit exams to receive a high school diploma?
  3. What are the intended and unintended consequences of using single or multiple diploma options for students with disabilities?

Results indicated some changes in graduation requirements and diploma options from the previous survey. Trends found include: 

  • State and local graduation policies and assessment practices continue to be modified and revised on a regular basis.
  • Graduation requirements are increasing in rigor across states.
  • States are continuing to experiment by making available a range of diploma options for students with and without disabilities.
  • The participation of students with disabilities in high stakes exit exams is increasing and states are granting additional testing allowances and broader use of accommodations.

Published by the Institute's National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO).


Dropout Risk Factors and Exemplary Programs: A Technical Report (May 2007)

This study, conducted by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network and sponsored by Communities In Schools, Inc., finds that there are multiple risk factors which increase the likelihood that students will drop out. The evidence clearly shows that dropout is always the result of a long process of disengagement that sometimes begins even before the child enrolls in kindergarten. The report also provides information on 50 programs that were found to be effective in addressing these risk factors.


The Effects of Cognitive Behavioral Interventions on Dropout for Youth with Disabilities (2005)

In collaboration with the NDPC-SD, the What Works in Transition Research Synthesis Project conducted a meta-analysis of cognitive-behavioral interventions and programs interventions. The purpose of the study was to identify interventions that carried a sufficient level of scientific evidence so as to be considered effective under the What Works Clearinghouse’s standards of evidence-based practices. This systematic review summarizes scientifically based research studies produced in the past two decades from three distinct perspectives: cognitive-behavioral interventions, dropout or dropout-related outcomes, and samples of secondary-aged youth with disabilities. It explores the relationship between cognitive-behavioral interventions/therapies and dropout outcomes and violent verbal or physical aggression for secondary-aged youth with disabilities.


Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2008-09 (May 2011)

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2008-09.” These data were collected as part of the Common Core of Data (CCD), a universe survey of public schools operating in the U.S. and territories by NCES.


Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2009 (October 2011)

This report updates a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. It includes national and regional population estimates for the percentage of students who dropped out of high school between 2008 and 2009, the percentage of young people who were dropouts in 2009, and the percentage of young people who were not in high school and had some form of high school credential in 2009. Data are presented by a number of characteristics including race/ethnicity, sex, and age. Annual data for these population estimates are provided for the 1972-2009 period. Information about the high school class of 2009 is also presented in the form on on-time graduation rates from public high schools.

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