High school graduation rates for English learners (ELs) have risen in recent years to 67% in 2015-2016. However, the rate for ELs is far below the 84% graduation rate for all students. The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) requires states to report their adjusted cohort graduation rates (ACGR) which only counts students who graduate within four years, regardless of the subgroup they belong to. ESSA allows states to supplement the ACGR data with an extended-year rate for students who take longer than four years. However, 16 states and the District of Columbia opted not to use the extended-year rate which could benefit ELs. This paper discusses the factors that can lead to ELs taking more than four years to graduate.
Graduation and Dropout Rates