Graduation Rates Latest NCLB Waiver Flash Point
Some say flexibility on NCLB could dilute accountability
A growing chorus of education policy advocates is urging the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen graduation-rate accountability in states that have earned waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act .
In separate letters last month to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a group of 36 civil rights, business, and education policy groups, along with U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., say they are concerned that many states' approved flexibility plans violate the spirit—if not the letter—of 2008 regulations that require all states to calculate the graduation rate in the same way and make those rates an important factor in high school accountability.
What's more, those groups and Rep. Miller warn that in many states, graduation rates—especially for groups of at-risk students—are such a minor part of the new accountability systems that getting students to successfully finish high school may take a back seat to other factors, such...
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