RAISING THE GRADE: Alliance President’s New Book on High School Reform is Now Available: The new book by Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, was officially released May 2. In the book, titled Raising the Grade: How High School Reform Can Save Our Youth and Our Nation, Wise describes the alarming cost of the high school crisis that sees more than one million students drop out every year—and millions more graduate unprepared for college and work—and informs citizens, educators, and policymakers about what they can do to ensure that all students receive a quality high school education that prepares them for a successful future.
SPELLINGS ANNOUNCES NEW GRADUATION RATE REGULATIONS: Proposed Changes to Graduation Rates, Title I to be Discussed at Public Meetings: On April 22, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings proposed new regulations to strengthen and clarify the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) around improved accountability and transparency, uniform and disaggregated graduation rates, and improved parental notification for supplemental educational services and public school choice. In proposing these changes, Spellings pledged to continue working with Congress to renew NCLB but said that students, families, teachers, and schools need help now. The new regulations would create a uniform definition of the graduation rate that is consistent with the definition agreed to by the National Governors Association (NGA) in its 2005 Graduation Counts: A Compact on State High School Graduation Data.
DEMOCRACY AT RISK: Twenty-five Years After A Nation at Risk, New Report Says that United States is “Even More” At Risk: Democracy at Risk: The Need for a New Federal Policy in Education, a new report from the Forum for Education and Democracy, argues that federal education policy over the last twenty-five years has been “inconsistent and shortsighted,” lacking a strategic approach for developing and investing in education that addresses the needs of a democratic society. It calls on the federal government to take on fundamental issues of equity and investment that only it can tackle.... The report, which was issued to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of the landmark report, A Nation at Risk, notes that federal education policy has moved away from the commitment to equal educational opportunity found in the 1960s and early 1970s and from the focus on research, development, and innovation associated with the post-Sputnik years.
REFLECTIONS ON A NATION AT RISK: Issues that Resonate Twenty-five Years Later: April 26 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk, issued by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. The commission, appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education T. H. Bell, and its report have been credited with helping to shift the Reagan administration’s thinking about the wisdom of cutting education spending, which—along with abolishing the U.S. Department of Education—President Reagan was pushing for at the time of the report’s release.
WILL THE FUTURE U.S. ECONOMY THRIVE OR JUST SURVIVE?: New Report Calls on the Nation to Develop a Skilled Workforce to Keep Country Competitive: Of the approximately 57,000 students who graduated from Massachusetts high schools in 2005, more than 19,000 (33 percent) enrolled in a Massachusetts public postsecondary institution in Fall 2005. However, the Massachusetts School-to-College Report: High School Class of 2005, reveals that more than 7,000 of those students (37 percent) had to enroll in at least one remedial course during their first semester in college. The report, conducted jointly by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, represents the first-ever study detailing the performance of the state's high school graduates who attend a public college or university in Massachusetts.