If Congress doesn’t get the job done, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings says she’ll consider using her authority to require states to report high school graduation rates in a more uniform and accurate way.
“I think we need some truth in advertising,” Spellings said in an interview, referring to the hodgepodge of ways states now report graduation data.
States calculate their graduation rates using all sorts of methods, many of which critics say are based on unreliable information about school dropouts.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have drafted proposals to better gauge how well high schools are doing at getting students diplomas, and doing it on time. The changes are part of a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind education law, but that bill’s progress has stalled amid disputes over unrelated testing and teacher pay issues.