EDUCinLARGESTcities - Cities in Crisis 2009 Closing the...

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Christopher B. Swanson, Ph.D. Director Editorial Projects in Education Research Center Prepared with support from the America’s Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation APRIL 2009 Cities in Crisis 2009 Closing the Graduation Gap Educational and Economic Conditions in America’s Largest Cities
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Cover photograph: iStockphoto Cities in Crisis 2009: Closing the Graduation Gap Copyright © 2009 by Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Readers may make up to 5 print copies of this publication at no cost for personal non-commercial use, provided that each copy includes a full citation of the source. Visit www.edweek.org/go/copies for information about additional print photocopies. Published by: Editorial Projects in Education, Inc. 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100 Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: (301) 280-3100 www.edweek.org
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Closing the Graduation Gap EPE Research Center | 1 1. Introduction The Rising Stakes of Graduation The condition of the nation’s high schools stands as a central concern among both educators and policymakers. In particular , independent research once viewed as controversial but now increasingly acknowledged by elected and appointed officials in the highest levels of government has revealed a state of affairs in which three in ten students fail to finish high school with a diploma and in which barely half of historically disadvantaged minority students graduate (Exhibit 1.1). The term “crisis” has frequently , and rightly, been used to describe the challenges facing America’s high schools. The extent to which graduation has factored into recent debates over educational reform, the n ation’s economic vitality, and the direction of the domestic public policy more generally attests to the issue’s importance. In the final year of the Bush administration, for example, the U.S. Department of Education issued a series of regulatory changes affecting Title I of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which governs school accountability. Those regulations bring major changes to the methods used to measure graduation rates, the goals or targets set for high school completion, and the consequences faced by schools and districts that fail to meet those established performance and improvement benchmarks. To a large extent, these changes were the result of criticisms that had mounted over several years regarding flawed and inconsistent approaches for calculating graduation rates and the low standards to which schools were being held in many states, all of which had taken hold under the prior regulatory framework. High school reform has also become a central component of the new Obama administration’s
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course OBHR 428 taught by Professor Campion during the Fall '09 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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EDUCinLARGESTcities - Cities in Crisis 2009 Closing the...

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