Alabama will be changing the way it computes the its graduation rate, and I have been trying to determine the easiest way for schools to be able to track their progress. I think it’s crucial that we can project our graduation rate at any time, and for any subgroup.

The solution that seems easiest to me is one list of all students with some well-chosen columns. The “game plan” is for school leaders to record for each student their feeling about whether that student will graduate on time or whether there are some concerns about the student. That information, along with keeping the list up to date in terms of students who have enrolled, dropped out, and moved is all that is needed. The graduation will compute itself for any grade level and any subgroup.

I will soon have the new calculator, along with a help document, on the “free resources” section of my website. It will be available to those who attended the CLAS New Principals Institute and will be presented at the CLAS Assistant Principals Conference (October 13).