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New Name for 'Persistently Dangerous Schools'

If you search the House education committee's NCLB draft, you won't find the phrase "persistently dangerous schools."

The current law requires states to identify any school that fits their definition of persistently dangerous. Districts must allow students to transfer out of those schools. For the most part, states have avoided implementing this section. In 2003, states labeled a total of 54 schools as persistently dangerous.

Under the draft, the "persistently dangerous" section would morph into a new "challenge schools" grant.

A challenge school would be one "that is determined not to have a safe climate for academic achievement," the draft says. Districts would need to inform parents if their child is attending such a school. States would be required to report the number of challenge schools and the number of students who transfered out of them.

States would be required give their challenge schools a portion of their Safe and Drug-Free Schools grants. The draft suggests 20 percent. Since that number is in brackets, that means the committee is open to changing it.

To see the legislative language, read page 13 and pages 21-24 of the draft of Title III and the rest of the bill.

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