Thursday, August 02, 2007

Eponymous Return: Leg. Edition

I’ve been looking a lot at graduation rates recently. I still think the holy grail of graduation documents is the NGA’s Graduation Counts. All 50 guvna’s signed the compact, some have since backed out and many have not moved to implement the compact yet. I’ve also been poking around in Bobby Scott’s Every Student Counts Act H.R.2955. There is some good stuff in there, but I have some issues as well. Some thoughts on this graduation bill:

· HR.2955 buries students who graduate with alternative degrees in an optional “additional indicator” metric. It’s good for rigor of course. And states should have as their main goal high school graduation, not GEDs. Something makes me a little unsettled about it though.
· Only 1 percent of students can qualify for IEP defined diploma—that’s too few.
· High schools would be required to use grad rates as their additional indicator under NCLB. What about other indicators that would be potentially supplanted? Or is Graduation as "good" of an indicator as there is? My guess is that grad rates are as good of an indicator for NCLB purposes as we’ve got.
· Arbitrary growth for graduation rates improvement (2-3 percent). This is going to be a problem. We’ll be right back in the business of arguing over baselines, and cut scores, and benchmarks. And we’ll be arguing arbitrarily. Can’t wait for that.


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