April 1, 2008

Gradu[r]ated

So U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Announces Department Will Move to a Uniform Graduation Rate, Require Disaggregation of Data (the true title of the press release today announcing imminent-but-not-published draft regs defining a graduation rate and only a few words away from the type of book title that would cure almost any insomnia). And George Miller huffs some that it wasn't bipartisan (hat tip to David Hoff on the Miller statement). So what's the buzz about?

  1. Spellings is channeling Adlai Stevenson's approach to governance and proudly announcing bold action on issues that are almost consensual and would happen without her intervention.
  2. Especially for this particular issue, the devil is in the details. Florida has a longitudinal graduation measure, but that doesn't mean it's accurate. If the regulatory language released in draft form would allow Florida to keep doing what it's doing officially, you won't see much in the form of transparency (and at least with two issues, you may see things get worse).
  3. Spellings is hoping the gravitas and charm of Colin Powell rubs off. Admittedly, Powell hasn't (yet) been on NPR's Wait, wait, ...

Maybe this is more evidence that Spellings will run for elected office in Texas and claim that she created growth measures, differentiated consequences, and airtight graduation rates. At least she's not claiming to have invented the Internet...

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Posted in Accountability Frankenstein on April 1, 2008 3:13 PM |