ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 21
POLICY CODE: JF
TO: Superintendents of Schools and School Administrators for 60% Publicly Funded Schools
FROM: Angela Faherty, Ph.D., Commissioner of Education
DATE: October 20, 2010
RE: Completers, Dropouts, Cohort, and Transfer Certifications
Validation and certification of the completer report, dropout report, cohort report, transfer-in report and transfer-out report for the 2009/10 school year must be completed by November 15, 2010.
Topics in this letter:
- Explanation of Maine’s graduation rate
- Validation and certification process: Due date: November 15, 2010
- Impact of Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
- Training / Informational webinars
Explanation of Maine’s graduation rate
Beginning with the 2008/09 school year, Maine began using the new federal ACGR methodology for calculating the graduation rate. The intent of this federal regulation is to standardize methodologies across states, to provide more consistency in reporting and to make better comparisons across states.
The 4 year ACGR for the 2009/10 school year will serve as the graduation rate that is used in AYP determinations for the 2010/11 school year.
The 4 year on-time ACGR is calculated as follows:
- Number of students that graduated between 2006/07 and 2009/10 who were also 9th graders for the first time in 2006/07 divided by the total number of students who were 9th graders in 2006/07 plus students who transferred into the school minus students who transferred out of the school during those 4 years.
In an attempt to show a clearer picture of Maine’s high school student population, the Department will calculate an additional rate called the 5 Year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate. This rate is based on the same basic formula as the 4 year ACGR, but includes the additional year.
At this time, the 5 year rate will be used for comparative purposes only.
The 5 year ACGR is calculated as follows:
- Number of students that graduated between 2005/06 and 2009/10 who were also 9th graders for the first time in 2005/06 divided by the total number of students who were 9th graders in 2005/06 plus students who transferred into the school minus students who transferred out of the school during those 5 years.
More detailed information for deriving the ACGR formula can be obtained from the Maine Department of Education document titled “School Administrators Guide to Maine’s New High School Graduation Rate Calculations” which can be found at http://www.maine.gov/education/gradrates/gradratefaq.pdf .
Validation and certification process
All validations must be done through the new report called the “Graduation Cohort Validation Report”. This report opens in Excel and is to be used for validating completers, dropouts, cohorts, transfer-ins, and transfer-outs. Please see the document titled Graduation Cohort Validation Report Instructions located at http://www.maine.gov/education/gradrates/validate_inst.html for detailed instructions.
The Graduation Cohort Validation Report should be submitted on or before November 1, 2010 so as to allow the Department adequate time to analyze and respond to your requests in time for you to be able to certify all the other required parts by November 15, 2010. Graduation Cohort Validation Reports received after November 1, 2010 may not be reviewed in time for you to certify by November 15, 2010. Your completed Graduation Cohort Validation Report should be emailed as an attachment to Richard Bergeron at Richard.Bergeron@maine.gov . School administrative units with more than one high school are asked to submit separate emails for each high school.
In an attempt to make the graduation certification process easier, we have modified it slightly this year. All five certifications will now be due on the same date; November 15, 2010. The five certifications are:
- Completers Report
- Dropouts Report
- Cohort Report
- Cohort Transfer-In
- Cohort Transfer-Out
In addition, we have modified the reports slightly. The above-named reports are in PDF format. Do not send these reports back with change requests. These reports should be printed, signed by the Superintendent and faxed to 207-512-1150 no later than November 15, 2010. Do not fax these reports unless they are 100% accurate, as these are the counts that will be used for the calculation of subsidy.
All public high schools as well as all 60% publicly funded secondary schools are required to certify this data.
Impact of Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)
The 4-year on-time ACGR for the 2009/10 school year will be utilized for AYP determinations for the 2010/11 school year. Beginning with the 2010/11 school year, graduation rates must also be disaggregated. In addition to calculating graduation rates as a whole for each high school in Maine, the 4 year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) will also be calculated for the following subgroups:
- Special Education
- Economically Disadvantaged (free and reduced lunch)
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
Each high school’s subgroup rates will be available to the Superintendent’s office at the same time as the overall high school AYP is available.
Training / Informational webinars
Training/Informational webinars are being developed and will be made available to help users understand the following components of the ACGR:
- Understanding the start status options
- Understanding the end status options
- Understanding the validation process
- Understanding the certification process.
Just-in-Time training updates will be available at the following link: http://moodle.slds.me by the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) training team.