Describes 2008 federal policy to improve high school graduation rates by enhancing data collection, calculation of graduation rates, and accountability as a way to support interventions in low-performing schools. Makes state policy recommendations.
- Observation: Federal policy should set a high, universal graduation goal and an aggressive but attainable minimum growth target.
- Observation: Federal policy should specify what the interaction of four-year and extended-year graduation rates should be to ensure high standards and transparency, and take appropriate measures to ensure that primacy remains on helping most students graduate in four years.
- Observation: Nearly every state should have the data capacity to calculate a four-year adjusted cohort rate by SY 2010Ã¢â‚¬â€œ11.
- Observation: The Department of Education should more strictly enforce adherence to exit coding requirements as they relate to the calculation of graduation rates. Moreover, the secretary should require that each state report a description of every category, code, and the corresponding definitions used to track student status, and a description of how they are used in the calculation of graduation rates.
- Observation: The Department of Education should be able to consider the needs of schools that do not fit the model of a four-year high school while at the same time ensuring that those schools are held to adequate goals and targets.