Graduation Rates Rise for Students With Disabilities Four-year graduation rates for students with disabilities was 61.9 percent for the 2012–2013 school year—an increase of almost 3 percent from two years earlier—compared with a record-high 81 percent for students overall, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. Graduation rates for students with disabilities varied ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   June 01, 2015
Graduation Rates Rise for Students With Disabilities
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School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   June 01, 2015
Graduation Rates Rise for Students With Disabilities
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB10.20062015.12
The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 12. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB10.20062015.12
Four-year graduation rates for students with disabilities was 61.9 percent for the 2012–2013 school year—an increase of almost 3 percent from two years earlier—compared with a record-high 81 percent for students overall, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Department of Education.
Graduation rates for students with disabilities varied widely, from 22.5 percent in Mississippi to 80.4 percent in neighboring Arkansas. The rate is based on a Department of Education-mandated formula that looks at how many ninth-graders leave school four years later, adjusted for transfers in and out. It does not include students who completed an IEP but did not earn a traditional diploma and those who were held back a grade.
The statistics for students with disabilities come with some caveats that make it difficult to compare one state’s graduation rates to another or to the overall graduation rate:

The rate does not include students who completed an IEP but did not earn a traditional diploma and those who were held back a grade.

  • The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act allows students with disabilities to stay in school at least until age 21, or longer if state laws allow. A four-year graduation rate, therefore, may not capture all students with disabilities who ultimately leave school with a “regular high school diploma.”

  • States may have different definitions of a “regular high school diploma” and what it takes to earn it for students with disabilities.

  • States also may have different definitions of “student with a disability” for the purposes of this calculation.

1 Comment
June 3, 2015
Elizabeth Crais
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I like these kinds of briefs and find them very useful, but I didn't see a reference to the source material for the article. It would be great if you could always provide this for those of us who want to go back and read more about the topic (or site the original source). Thanks
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June 2015
Volume 20, Issue 6