What’s good for Chicago, Duncan says …

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More evidence that Education Secretary Arne Duncan is exporting what he did as CEO of Chicago schools across the country. News comes that he is open to letting states report five-year graduation rates in their quest to make adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. New NCLB regulations announced in October by former education secretary Margaret Spellings calls for all districts to implement a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate by 2011.

 

More evidence that Education Secretary Arne Duncan is exporting what he did as CEO of Chicago schools to D.C. and across the country. News comes that he is open to letting states report five-year graduation rates in their quest to make adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind. New NCLB regulations announced in October by former education secretary Margaret Spellings calls for all districts to implement a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate by 2011.

In fact, CPS was a leader in dropping inflated one-year graduation rates, adopting instead a rate that tracked students from 9th grade. However, it tracked those students for five years. Elaine Allensworth, a co-director and researcher for the Consortium on Chicago School Research, says the four-year rate is not dramatically different than the five-year one. “Maybe four or five percentage points,” Allensworth says.

During Duncan’s tenure, the five-year cohort rate went from 47 percent to 55 percent. Some worry that allowing a five-year rate removes the incentive for schools to graduate students on time, but others say it encourages schools to re-enroll students who dropped out and to accommodate extra time needed by some students with disabilities.