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ERIC Number: ED506900
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-16
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Federal High School Graduation Rate Policies and the Impact on Minnesota
Alliance for Excellent Education
In today's economy, employers increasingly demand that workers have a high school diploma, yet America's graduation rates are unacceptably low, particularly among poor and minority students. Nationally, only about 70 percent of students graduate from high school on time with a regular diploma; for African American and Hispanic students, this number drops to little more than 50 percent. For too long, inaccurate data, misleading official graduation and dropout calculations, and inadequate accountability systems at the state and federal levels have obscured low graduation rates. Over the last few years, independent researchers have published more reliable graduation rate estimates, most states have improved their data collection systems, and some states have adopted more reliable graduation rate calculations. These are positive changes, but they do not solve the problems: graduation rates used for accountability purposes remain inconsistent across states and there is insufficient accountability for increasing graduation rates over time. As a result, a chorus of voices continued to demand that policymakers address the remaining flaws and inconsistencies in both the state calculations and data system, as well as the federal graduation rate accountability policies. In October 2008, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) responded by releasing regulations that change requirements for states' calculations, reporting, and accountability systems for graduation rates under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Although these regulations, if properly implemented, offer hope for significant improvement, some of their provisions--particularly around accountability goals for increasing graduation rates--leave room for considerable variation across states that could undermine the regulations' intention to improve accountability for graduation rates. The regulations address three important components of graduation rate policy: graduation rate definitions, graduation rate accountability, and data and data systems. This document summarizes the changes the new regulations would make in these three policy areas and describes how Minnesota's current graduation rate policies might be affected. (Lists 2 sources.)
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: AT&T Foundation
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A