April 25, 2008

Graduation rate regs

I will need to read the proposed regulatory changes in NCLB more carefully when I have the chance, but it looks like there are several good things and a few odd things in the uniform definition of a graduation rate:

  • Good: The proposed regs propose a longitudinal graduation rate as the long term, preferred measure of graduation.
  • Bad: The proposed regs allow the "averaged freshman graduation rate" as a transitional measure until 2012. AFGR has little empirical basis for its estimate of the ninth-grade cohort size.
  • Good: The proposed regs eliminate several loopholes I've seen states use to inflate graduation rates, including shifting a student's cohort when the student is retained in grade, removing the student from any cohort if they drop out to enroll in GED programs, and so forth.
  • Odd: the only graduation measure proposed is a four-year cohort rate. While I disagree with Leo Casey's claim that the cure is worse than the disease, the four-year-only rate fails to acknowledge or credit schools for promoting graduation on any schedule other than a strict four-year schedule. It makes much better sense to report a four-year rate, a five-year rate, and an any-time rate.

And anything more will have to wait until I'm back home, have caught up with other things, and have had a chance to think about this some more.

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Posted in Education policy on April 25, 2008 4:35 PM |