Frank Wilson

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A Look at High School Dropout Rates: Average Rates of Change and Trend Lines part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
In this Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum activity, students calculate the average rate of change and graph a scatter plot of status high school dropout rate for 1975-2002. They compare the average rate of change determined by the total net difference divided by the length of the time period to the slope of the trend line fitted to the data on the scatter plot. In the end-of-module "Show You Know" assignment, the students analyze data for the event highschool dropout rate over the same time period, and they compare the two measures, status vs. event dropout rates. The module combines interpretation of rate of change in the context of a real-world time-series data set with instruction on elementary spreadsheet computation and graphing.