PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We all know about the consequences of dropping out — for the individual, schools and society. Yet, in attacking the problem the first hurdle is the definition.

Claudio Sanchez reported on NPR that many schools don’t count kids as dropouts if they enroll in GED programs and some don’t count kids as dropouts who are incarcerated. In Baltimore, attendance isn’t taken until 10am rather than 8am because if kids show up at all, they’ll be late and counted absent.

The National Governors Association announced in 2005 that 45 states agreed to develop voluntary “common measures” for reporting high school graduation rates while the federal Department requires that states count the number of students entering 9th grade and if they don’t graduate in four years, they’re dropouts.

Confusion persists; yet the most promising approach may be a common identifier, a tracking number that helps confirm whether a student re-enrolled after transferring to another school in the same state.


Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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