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ERIC Number: EJ916882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
A Public Relations Nightmare: ACLU Class Action Lawsuit Exposes Inaccurate and Inequitable High School Graduation Rates
Watson, Terri N.; Brown, Kathleen M.
Journal of School Public Relations, v31 n4 p342-357 Fall 2010
Florida's decision to equate a GED to a high school diploma undermines the attempt of No Child Left Behind to close the achievement gap, while infringing on the public's trust. Public trust fosters a culture of systemic equity and social justice, which are necessary for academic excellence (Byrk & Schneider, 2003). Florida's code of ethics for educators and school administrators, under 6B-1.001, identifies truth, excellence, and the attainment of knowledge as the primary objectives of its educational system (Florida Department of Education, n.d.). However, the state's definition and subsequent calculations of a high school graduate fall short of these principles. If Florida's educational system is to be successful, school officials must create and maintain the public's trust. Only with accurate data are teachers and administrators in a position to evaluate whether teaching and learning in high schools are improving and to identify who is progressing and who is at risk of dropping out. Ironically, while Florida is one of the few states to possess the longitudinal data system required to assess graduates as mandated by No Child Left Behind, one of its school districts was the first in the nation to be formally accused of overestimating its graduates. This study investigated Florida's definition of a public high school graduate and the efforts of school officials to address a perceived breach of the public's trust--a public relations nightmare. (Contains 1 note and 1 figure.)
Rowman & Littlefield Education. 4501 Forbes Boulevard Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706. Tel: 800-462-6420; Tel: 717-794-3800; Fax: 800-338-4550; Fax: 717-794-3803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001