Education

Spellings Looks to Change Rules on Graduation Rate

November 13, 2007 1 min read

Former White House aide Karl Rove suggested in August that the administration would use executive power to change NCLB if Congress failed to reauthorize the law. As prospects for an NCLB bill dimmed last week, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said that she wants to standardize graduation rates across states.

“I think we need some truth in advertising,” Spellings told the Associated Press.

In the nearly three years since Spellings took her current job, she has moved aggressively to change NCLB policies. She has created a pilot program for states to use growth models, rewritten rules for assessing special education kids, and approved changes to states’ NCLB plans that this new report suggests has made it easier for schools and districts’ to make AYP.

Now she’s talking about graduation rates. What could be next? If you have any ideas, send them here.

SIDENOTE: Critics have called the Bush administration’s previous graduation-rate policy “a travesty” and “laughable.” It has approved states’ rates that are deceptive and their goals that aren’t challenging, they say. In the AP story, you’ll note that North Carolina once said it’s graduation rate was 95 percent—a number it published with the federal Education Department’s blessing. Once the state changed its formula, the rate dropped to 68 percent.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the NCLB: Act II blog.