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Spellings Looks to Change Rules on Graduation Rate


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.


While the NCLB Act remains a subject
of controversy for when it will
"reauthorize" the ESEA Act Titles,

This new concept should really pour
salt in the wounds of discontent.

You should never been allowed to
bend, break or change a rule until

the rule is clear.

Just my opinion, nothing more.


It struck me as interesting that Secretary Spellings is advocating a clearly defined dropout rate so as to standardize it and make for clear comparisons amongst states. It sounds like a logical argument--so why isn't the same logic followed with some form of common academic standards? Right now we can't truly compare the academic achievement of students in different states because they have different standards. Secretary Spellings has consistently come out against the common academic standards idea. Any chance that this position on the dropout rate might signal a change of thinking with respect to common academic standards?

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Recent Comments

  • Brian G.: It struck me as interesting that Secretary Spellings is advocating read more
  • O.Lewis: While the NCLB Act remains a subject of controversy read more



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