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Class of 2006 Graduation Data

The graduation rate for the Class of 2006 was 74.1 percent. This is a 6 percentage point decrease from the Class of 2005 rate of 80.1 percent and an 8.4 percentage point decrease over the Class of 2004 rate of 82.5 percent.

Graduation Rate Notes

  1. Much of the 6 percentage point decline in the state graduation rate can be attributed to a piece of legislation approved in 2005: Senate Bill 05-091. The administrative rules supporting this bill, known as CCR 301-67 - “Rules for the Administration of Colorado Data Reporting for School Accreditation”, changed the way the state counts students who leave a Colorado school district to pursue a GED (General Educational Development) certificate. Previously, students bound for a GED program were treated as transfers and did not affect the graduation rate calculation. Under the new formula, students who opt for a GED program remain in the “membership base” (or graduation rate denominator) and thereby reduce the graduation rate for their graduating class. This legislative change accounts for 4.9 percentage points of the 6 percentage point decline in the state graduation rate.
  2. Another provision of the 2005 administrative rules requires Colorado’s school districts to obtain adequate documentation of transfer for all students who transfer from the district to attend a school outside the state or country, a private school, or a home-based education program. Adequate documentation is defined as an official request for academic records from the student’s new school or, in the case of a home-based education program, a signed form from a parent or legal guardian. If the district cannot obtain this documentation, the student must be reported as a dropout. The quantitative effect of this provision on the graduation rate cannot be calculated precisely. However, by applying a conservative estimate that ten percent of all twelfth graders reported as dropouts in the 2005-2006 school year would have been counted as transfers rather than dropouts under the old methodology, the state graduation rate would increase by 0.7 percentage points. Districts serving highly mobile student populations were potentially affected by this provision to a much greater degree.
  3. 2005-2006 was the third year the Colorado Department of Education collected Student End of Year data for each individual student using the State Assigned Student Identifier (SASID) system. Tracking students individually rather than in aggregate allows a more accurate accounting of students’ progress through the public education system than was possible under the old data collection method (prior to 2002-2003). The Colorado Department of Education expects this gradual decline in the graduation rate that began in the 2003-2004 year to continue over the next year then level off after the class of 2007 graduates. The graduating class of 2007 will be the first group of students to graduate after being tracked individually (via SASIDs) during all four years of high school (9th – 12th grades).

Graduation Rates for the Class of 2006

District Level Data

School Level Statistics

Copies of these reports may be obtained by contacting, Data & Research Unit, Colorado Department of Education, 201 East Colfax Avenue, Room 508, Denver, CO 80203. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Please contact Peter Fritz at (303) 866-6175 for information on how this data is collected.

Graduation Rates – Historical Overview

Questions and Answers About Colorado Graduation Rates

Who is Counted as a Graduate? There is no statewide definition. In Colorado, local school boards are responsible for establishing the requirements for high school graduation. A graduate is a student who has met the requirements for the locally defined high school diploma.

Do All Colorado School Districts Have the Same Requirements For Graduation? No. Each local school board defines graduation requirements for its district. These vary from district to district. The state considers a graduate to be any student who has met the graduation requirements of his or her local school district.

Are There Students Who Complete 12 Years of School and Do Not Graduate? Yes. Some districts award certificates or other designations of high school completion or attendance to students who do not complete the standard high school graduation requirements. Also, some students who do not complete the traditional high school graduation requirements do successfully achieve a general educational development certificate (GED).

Under what Circumstances is a Student Reported as a Transfer? A ‘transfer’ is, for the purposes of the graduation rate and the completer rate a student who enrolls in another school that awards diplomas or a home-based education program (home school) pursuant to 22-33-104.5. It does not include students who enroll in a GED program.

What Is the Graduation Rate? The graduation rate is a cumulative or longitudinal rate which calculates the number of students who actually graduate as a percent of those who were in membership over a four-year period (i.e., from Grades 9-12) and could have graduated with the current graduating class.

A graduation rate is reported for each graduating class (i.e., the Class of 2006). The rate is calculated by dividing the number of graduates by the membership base. The membership base is derived from the number students entering ninth grade four years earlier (i.e., during the 2002-2003 year), and adjusted for students who have transferred into or out of the district during the years covering grades 9 through 12.

What Is Meant By the "Class of 2006"? Graduation rates and completer rates will be reported for a particular class. The Class of 2006 includes students who graduated during the 2005-2006 academic year. It may include students who completed high school in three years, four years, or longer.

What Happens to Students Who Graduate in the Summer? Summer graduates are included in the graduation rate calculation of the current graduating class – provided they receive a diploma before August 31 of the reported school year.

If a Student Was Reported as a Dropout at Some Point During His or Her High School Years and the School Subsequently Receives Information that the Student Transferred into Another Educational Program, Does That Student Affect the Graduation Rate For the Class of Which He/She Was Originally a Member? No. If the high school has documentation of the student's transfer into another educational program or completion of an educational program, then an adjustment may be made to the membership base used to calculate the graduation rate. These students are not reported as completers from the district, they are taken out of the membership base of the school and treated as if they transferred from the school. However, the dropout rate for the year in which they were reported as a dropout remains unchanged.

What Is the Completion Rate? The Completion Rate is also a cumulative or longitudinal rate which reflects the number of students who graduate, receive a GED certificate, or receive a certificate or other designation of high school completion. Like the graduation rate, the completion rate is calculated as a percent of those who were in membership and could have graduated or completed over a four-year period (i.e., from Grades 9-12).

Definitions of Terms Used in the Graduation Rate Reports

Instructional Program Service Type (IPST): Services provided by schools and/or districts for students identified as belonging to one or more of the categories below:

Students with Disabilities: Students who have been formally identified as having physical or health conditions that may have a significant impact on the student’s ability to learn and therefore warrant placing the student on an Individual Educational Program (IEP).

Limited English Proficient: This designation encompasses all students identified as either non-English proficient or limited English proficient. Non-English proficient is defined as a student who speaks a language other than English and does not comprehend, speak, read, or write English. Limited English proficient is defined as a student who comprehends, speaks, reads, or writes some English, but whose predominant comprehension or speech is in a language other than English. Districts must provide language services to all limited English proficient students.

Economically Disadvantaged: Student qualifies for either the free or reduced lunch program. The Federal National School Lunch Act establishes eligibility for the reduced price lunch program for families with income up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level (in 2005, this amount was $35,798 for a family of four). Families with income up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for the free lunch program (in 2005 this amount was $25,155 for a family of four).

Migrant: Students enrolled in a specially designed program for children who are, or whose parent or spouse is a migratory agricultural worker, and who, in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompany such parent or spouse in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural work has moved from one school district to another.

Title 1: Students that are identified by the school as failing, or most at risk of failing, to meet the State’s challenging student academic achievement standards on the basis of multiple, educationally related, objective criteria established by the school.

Homeless: According to the McKinney Act, a “homeless individual”: lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

Gifted and Talented: Students who have been formally identified, using district wide procedures aligned with CDE guidelines, as being endowed with a high degree of exceptionality or potential in mental ability, academics, creativity, or talents (visual, performing, musical arts, or leadership.