On October 28, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced final regulations to strengthen and clarifyNo Child Left Behind (NCLB), focusing on improved accountability and transparency, uniform and disaggregated graduation rates and improved parental notification for Supplemental Education Services and public school choice. The Secretary made the announcement while speaking to educators, state and local policymakers and business leaders at South Carolina Educational Television in Columbia, S.C.
“NCLB has shined a spotlight on schools,” said Secretary Spellings. “It is compelling grown ups to do the right thing by kids. And it’s working. According to the Nation’s Report Card, since 2000, more kids are learning reading and math. Since this law was passed, nearly one million more students have learned basic math skills. Children once left behind are making some of the greatest gains, but more work needs to be done. That’s why I’ve taken a responsive, common sense approach to implementing the law with today’s announcement.”
The Secretary noted that these new regulations reflect lessons learned over the past six years since NCLB was enacted and builds on work that states have made with their assessment and accountability systems. One area that there is broad public consensus around is the need for a uniform graduation rate.
Recognizing that the nation can no longer tolerate - much less prosper - with its abysmal graduation rate, particularly among minority students, the final regulations establish a uniform graduation rate that shows how many incoming freshman in a given high school graduate within four years.
“As far back as 2005, governors from all 50 states agreed to adopt a uniform, more accurate graduation rate. But so far, only 16 states have done so,” said Secretary Spellings. “Parents know that a high school diploma is the least their children need to succeed in today’s economy.”
Under the new regulations, all states will use the same formula to calculate how many students graduate from high school on time and how many drop out. The final regulations define the “four year adjusted cohort graduation rate” as the number of students who graduate in four years with a regular high school diploma divided by the number of students who entered high school four years earlier, adjusted for transfers, students who emigrate and deceased students. The data will be made public so that educators and parents can compare how students of every race, background and income level are performing....
Thursday, October 30, 2008
This from the Principal's Policy Blog: