Focus on Compulsory Attendance Policies: About Age or Intervention?

Publication February 20148 pages

Over the past decade, SREB state policy-makers have focused on actions to reduce dropout rates and increase high school graduation rates. Some policy-makers have suggested that raising their state’s compulsory attendance age (often called the dropout age) to require students to stay in school until age 17 or 18 is an important step. However, current research strongly suggests that raising the compulsory attendance age is not sufficient alone to increase graduation rates. This report explores other important policy actions that states can take to help achieve the goal of all students earning a high school diploma and being prepared for college or career training.