Thursday, March 20, 2008

Graduation Rates and No Child Left Behind -- PJM

I've been quick to criticize the education establishment and No Child Left Behind so when I saw an article in my favorite conservative news paper, The New York Times, about how states obscure their high school graduation rates for N.C.L.B. reporting, I was certain I'd come upon more fodder to support my criticism of both No Child Left Behind and, of course, what Nebraska reports. Not surprisingly, the New York Times article certainly supports my belief that what is reported to the federal government is basically a sham--at least as far as graduation rates (see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/education/20graduation.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print ). However, I decided to check out a few other sources that might be more enlightening on graduation rates both nationally and in Nebraska. Surprisingly to me, both seemed to reflect that Nebraska's high school graduation rates (See http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us/PublicDoc/CCPE/Reports/Progress_Report_2008/08_PR-1.1.a._High_Sch_Stats_pp17-30.pdf ) are not only accurately reported, but also among the highest in the nation. The national numbers ( http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/2007/pdf/24_2007.pdf ), however, do reflect that the states actual graduation rates overall are very different than those reported under No Child Left Behind. If you are interested, you might check out not only the story from the New York Times but also the two attachments above.No Child Left Behind has not been reauthorized and shouldn't be. It is an exercise in government waste, bureaucracy and misinformation.

The federal government would be well to not only not renew NCLB, but to dismantle the Department of Education entirely letting the states use their allotted portions of those funds to improve education at the local level. No where in the U.S. Constitution does it allocate involvement in education to the federal government.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pat, thanks for your education thoughts. I would celebrate and support anyone individual or organization who is serious about eliminating the Department of

Education. Who is?

Anonymous said...

Graduation rates in Nebraska do not reflect education excellence. Only a standard test like Iowa Basics, etc. could determine achievement and learning accomplishments. Also, your State figures include private schools which skew the results upwards.