Federal

Grad-Rate Metrics: A Waiver Soft Spot?

By Alyson Klein — October 02, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

U.S. Rep. George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House education committee, along with a range of advocacy groups, has warned that the U.S. Department of Education isn’t holding states’ feet to the fire when it comes to monitoring graduation rates from states that have received waivers from parts of the No Child Left Behind Act.

In a Sept. 21 letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the congressman expressed worries that states are trying to wiggle out of the reporting regulations that require states to use a uniform metric for calculating graduation rates.

Before those regulations were issued in 2008, Mr. Miller wrote, states used “nonregular diplomas such as [General Educational Development certificates]; set meaningless goals and growth targets for improvement; and did not account for the graduation rates of subgroups of students.”

Although Mr. Miller noted in his letter that the Obama administration’s waiver plan didn’t give states flexibility on the 2008 graduation regulation, he said some of the 30-plus states that have gotten waivers “clearly do not uphold graduation-rate accountability” in their approved plans.

Groups including the Alliance for Excellent Education, the National Council of La Raza, the National PTA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent Secretary Duncan a letter on the same day echoing many of Rep. Miller’s concerns.

In an email comment, Justin Hamilton, a spokesman for the Education Department, said: “No one works harder and cares more about kids than Congressman George Miller. We appreciate his concerns and want to assure him that we will vigilantly monitor states to make sure their kids [are] getting over the bar and graduating them.”

This isn’t the first time Rep. Miller has expressed qualms about the specifics of the waivers. He and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, wrote a letter earlier this year outlining concerns about the accountability provisions in some of the first-round waiver applications, including the movement toward “super-subgroups” that lump together special education students, English-language learners, low-income students, and others for accountability purposes.

A version of this article appeared in the October 03, 2012 edition of Education Week as Grad-Rate Metrics: A Waiver Soft Spot?

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
Future of the First Amendment:Exploring Trends in High School Students’ Views of Free Speech
Learn how educators are navigating student free speech issues and addressing controversial topics like gender and race in the classroom.
Content provided by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal What Educators Need to Know About Senators' Bipartisan Deal on Guns, School Safety
In addition to gun restrictions, a tentative compromise would also fund mental health and school safety programs—but it faces hurdles.
4 min read
Protesters hold up a sign that shows the outline of a rifle struck through with a yellow line at a demonstration in support of stronger gun laws.
Protesters gather for the March For Our Lives rally in Detroit, among the demonstrations against gun violence held on the heels of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas.
KT Kanazawich for Education Week
Federal Senate Negotiators Announce a Deal on Guns, Breaking Logjam
The agreement offers modest gun curbs and bolstered efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.
5 min read
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., speaks during a rally near Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, June 10, 2022, urging Congress to pass gun legislation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Federal Education Secretary: 'Let's Transform Our Appreciation of Teachers to Action'
Miguel Cardona shared strategies to help recruit, develop, and retain effective teachers.
5 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the White House on April 27.
Susan Walsh/AP
Federal Lawmakers, Education Secretary Clash Over Charter School Rules
Miguel Cardona says the administration wants to ensure charters show wide community interest before securing federal funding.
5 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the 2022 National and State Teachers of the Year event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, is seen during a White House event on April 27. The following day, he defended the Biden administration's budget proposal on Capitol Hill.
Susan Walsh/AP