Bravo, Ms. Spellings!

In combination with the release of the America’s Promise Alliance Dropout report, which was released yesterday, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced that the federal government will require a uniform way of counting dropouts.  Currently, every state can count dropouts in their own way.  This is supposed to occur as part of a dropout summit in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Some of the ways states currently count dropouts (from NCSET):

  • Measures the proportion of students who drop out in a single year without completing high school.
  • Measures the proportion of students who have not completed high school and are not enrolled at one point in time, regardless of when they dropped out.
  • Measures what happens to a single group (or cohort) of students over a period of time.

Here are the ways dropouts are counted in California, Wisconsin and Colorado, to name a few.

This decision is long overdue in this country!  And, now we can get to work in figuring out how to make sure every student in the United States earns a high school diploma!


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