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Subject:

Assessing the High School Diploma and Beyond/Report: Diploma Counts 2009

From:

Dan Kern <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 9 Jun 2009 15:04:15 -0500

Content-Type:

multipart/related

Parts/Attachments:

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Assessing the High School Diploma and Beyond/Report: Diploma Counts 2009

 <http://space.sparklist.com/t/3415966/6589586/25599/0/> Assessing the High
School Diploma and Beyond 
This year's Diploma Counts 2009 report from EdWeek and the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation examines the number of students graduating high school and
investigates the level of college preparation that comes with a high school
diploma. President Obama wants the United States to reclaim its global
status by boasting the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020, yet
according to the Gates report, most schools have a hard time agreeing on
what even constitutes college readiness, making the pathway into college
ever the more challenging. Education Week, 6/11/09
Related item:  <http://space.sparklist.com/t/3415966/6589586/25600/0/>
EdWeek's Graduation Rates "Exceedingly Inaccurate," Experts Say 

Source:  Principal's Update http://www.nassp.org/s_nassp/index.asp?CID=1138
<http://www.nassp.org/s_nassp/index.asp?CID=1138&DID=54609> &DID=54609

Published: June 11, 2009

Executive Summary

By The Editors

	

At a time when only seven in 10 American students graduate from high school
in four years, President Barack Obama is demanding that the nation raise its
educational sights even higher, asking all Americans to commit to at least
one year of education after high school. 

Ultimately, he wants the United States to retake a pre-eminent place in the
global education arena by boasting the world's highest proportion of college
graduates by 2020. 

President Obama is the most prominent of a growing number of American
policymakers to embrace the idea that some form of postsecondary education
is crucial to students' success after high school. The 2009 edition of
Diplomas Count, titled Broader Horizons: The Challenge of College Readiness
for All Students, examines that idea. 

As this report points out, what it means to be ready to attend college is
open to argument, with no firm consensus on how to measure college readiness
or ensure that all students clear such a bar. 


Diplomas Count 2009



 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34exec.h28.html> Executive
Summary 


 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34graduation.h28.html> Beyond
a Focus On Graduation 


 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34college.h28.html> Building
a Culture Aimed at College


 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34florida.h28.html> Florida
Schools Steer by Numbers


 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34data.h28.html> Enthusiasm
Builds For Data Systems


 <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34nclb.h28.html> NCLB Rules
Back Common Rate

Moreover, high schools aren't equally equipped to help students navigate the
college-application and financial-aid system-a particularly difficult
process for low-income youths. 

And the call for more attention to college-going rates comes amid troubling
data on the proportion of U.S. students who graduate from high school in the
traditional four-year timespan. 


Graduation-Rate Analysis 


Diplomas Count 2009 contains the latest original analysis of high school
completion conducted by the  <http://www.edweek.org/rc/index.html> Editorial
Projects in Education Research Center, which places the national graduation
rate at 69.2 percent for the class of 2006. The center calculates graduation
rates for the nation, states, and every school district in the country using
the Cumulative Promotion Index method and data from the U.S. Department of
Education's Common Core of Data. 

The analysis this year shows that from 1996 to 2006, the most recent year
for which data are available, the national graduation rate for U.S. public
high schools rose by 2.8 percentage points. That gain, averaging about
three-tenths of a point annually, signals slow but steady progress over the
past decade. In fact, for each of the past six years, the nation's
graduation rate has stayed consistently above the 1996 benchmark level of 66
percent. 

While long-term trends have generally been encouraging, the EPE Research
Center found that the nation's graduation rate dropped markedly-by almost a
point and a half-between 2005 and 2006. That is the first significant annual
decline found in more than a decade. 


Exceeding Expectations 


Most school districts, our findings show, are performing at roughly the
level observers would expect given the districts' size, poverty rates,
concentrations of minority students, per-pupil spending levels, and so
forth. Yet, we also found that a substantial number of districts are
exceeding expectations, with graduation rates substantially higher than
those of other school systems that fit a similar profile. 

Nationwide, nearly 2,200 districts exceed expectations for class of 2006
graduation rates by a margin of at least 10 percentage points. In a parallel
analysis of changes in graduation rates between 1996 and 2006, we find a
similar number of districts with higher-than-expected levels of improvement
over the past decade. 

The EPE Research Center also conducted an original survey of the 50 states
and the District of Columbia examining 18 policy indicators related to high
school graduation. Those indicators track activity in three broad areas:
definitions of college and work readiness, high school completion
credentials, and high school exit exams. 

The most significant sign of momentum in state policy is an increase in the
number of states defining what it means to be college-ready. A formal
college-readiness definition provides a road map for high school students
preparing for postsecondary coursework. For the class of 2009, 20
states-five more than last year-have described the skills and knowledge
needed to succeed in entry-level college courses. Those definitions include
a variety of components ranging from coursetaking recommendations to minimum
scores on standardized tests. 

Definitions in 14 states involve academic-content standards, and 13
definitions include coursetaking requirements. Proponents of such measures
suggest they have the potential to curb remediation rates at the college
level and to help ensure that students arrive on campus prepared to enroll
in and succeed at credit-bearing coursework. 

Seven states include academic elements and/or "soft skills," such as time
management and successful study habits, as prerequisites for college
readiness. Eleven states are in the process of developing an official
definition of college readiness, one sign that the momentum is gathering. 

This report also examines revised regulations under the No Child Left Behind
Act, issued by the U.S. Department of Education this past winter, on
graduation rates. 

The regulations tighten the rules governing how states must calculate and
report graduation rates, and how they will be held to account for them. The
highest-profile change requires states to depict their graduation rates the
same way: as the proportion of each incoming freshman class that earns
standard diplomas four years later. Previously, states could decide for
themselves how to calculate their graduation rates. But the regulations also
leave room for states to report extended-year rates. 


Move to Data Systems 


Finally, we explore the movement for state data systems that can help keep
track of students and provide information on their academic progress in high
school and at postsecondary institutions. The focus on the nation's school
data systems has been spurred, in part, by investments by the federal
government since 2005. 

Even more money for data systems was set aside in the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act, the $787 billion economic-stimulus package. This coming
fall, the federal government will distribute another $250 million in new
competitive grants with stimulus funding. 

We highlight the state of Florida, where high schools receive "feedback
reports" from the state with a wealth of data to help them fine-tune their
programs. 

Our reporting also discusses what role new accountability measures at the
district and state levels can and should play in focusing high schools on
the goal of preparing students to succeed in postsecondary education. 

The Education Department, for example, is recommending that states and
districts track the number and percentage of students, by school, who
graduate from high school and earn at least one year of college credit. 

The demand for students to look beyond finishing high school-itself still a
challenging goal, based on our analysis of graduation trends-is changing the
mission of high schools to focus on success in postsecondary education. 

The dimensions of that task, however, are daunting. Studies by the
Consortium on Chicago School Research have found that while low-income
students have high aspirations, even many of those who qualify for college
acceptance lack the information and support necessary to clear the hurdles
of the application and enrollment process, and never set foot on campus.
Still others select colleges that are not good matches for them, and drop
out. 

Three Commentary essays throughout the report offer further perspective on
"next generation" accountability for high schools, the need for state-level
leadership to build data systems, and whether it's realistic to expect all
students to attend some college. 

We  <http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34college.h28.html>
profile a Baltimore high school serving low-income students that is
enthusiastically embracing a college-readiness mission, with the help of a
local nonprofit group that provides assistance through a paid college
counselor. 

Says Starletta Jackson, the founding principal of the 5-year-old Vivien T.
Thomas Medical Arts Academy: "It's a mentality, that every day they are
hearing about and thinking about what happens after high school, that 'I am
going to college.'"

Diplomas Count is produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation

Vol. 28, Issue 34, Pages 4-5

Back
<http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34exec.h28.html?tkn=ZUYF/IMbft
q0HjoFiIg9i6HVLlXcnoaUSLAp&print=1#top>  to Top Back to Top

Diplomas Count is produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation.

Print source:
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34exec.h28.html?tkn=ZUYF/IMbftq
0HjoFiIg9i6HVLlXcnoaUSLAp
<http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34exec.h28.html?tkn=ZUYF/IMbft
q0HjoFiIg9i6HVLlXcnoaUSLAp&print=1> &print=1

Rootage:  http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2009/06/11/34exec.h28.html

 

 

 

Dan Kern

AD21, Reading

East Central College

1964 Prairie Dell Road

Union, MO  63084-4344

Phone:  (636) 583-5195

Extension:  2426

Fax:  (636) 584-0513

Email:  [log in to unmask]

 

Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner. Put

yourself in his place so that you may understand what he learns and

the way he understands it. (Kierkegaard)

 

 


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