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IG Recommends New Definitions of 'Persistently Dangerous'

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The Washington Post is the latest to point out that states are hiding "persistently dangerous schools" by not reporting them as required under NCLB. My colleague, Erik Robelen, first noted this four years ago.

By focusing on the small number of schools being identified as "persistently dangerous," the Post story overlooked substantive recommendations from the Department of Education's inspector general in this report. To fix the problem, the IG recommends the following:

"1) All violent incidents, according to state code, are factored into the [persistently dangerous schools] determination, without the use of disciplinary action qualifiers;
"2) Benchmarks for determining [persistently dangerous schools] are set at reasonable levels that are supported by objective and reliable data; and
"3) [Persistently dangerous schools] are identified based upon the most current year of data."

If Congress doesn't act on NCLB soon, would the Bush administration add these changes to the list of regulatory changes they'll be making?

P.S. I thank the Post's headline writers for putting "'No Child' Data on Violence Skewed" on top of this story. This blog is no longer the winner of eduwonk's "most obvious headline ever."

2 Comments

Why can't the government admit that NCLB is a failure. Rather than concentrating on reading and math, schools are now forced to focus on testing. It is also no secret that NCLB is punishing minority children and those who receive help from Special Education. Education in this country is going downhill fast!

Like just about every other standard in NCLB, the states get to define the standard (which makes it a non-standard). States get to determine what is proficient and get to define what is dangerous. What about that is so surprising given the NCLB regime.

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