NCLB to target dropout rates
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings is in South Carolina today to announce the latest changes to No Child Left Behind. The new twist is that schools now will have to improve their dropout rates in order to attain adequate yearly progress, or AYP, under the federal law.
And it's not just a school's overall rate that must decline, the AP reports (via USA Today). The new regulations will apply to all demographic subgroups, so Hispanic students, for example, do not fall behind while the rest of the student body shows gains. And for the first time, all states will be required to measure dropouts using the same formula.
"We haven't really tackled high school accountability, and this is a giant step toward doing that," Spellings told the AP.
NCLB remains controversial, with some groups calling for even bigger changes and others pushing for its demise. Congress has yet to renew the legislation, and the Bush administration is on its way out. Who knows where this really is headed.
Spellings plans to make her formal announcement at noon. Interested? You can catch the Web cast live by clicking here at noon. To see the DOE's press release on the new rules, click here. To read an interesting take from the Fordham Foundation, click here.