New bill focuses on U.S. graduation rates

It also would make graduation rates a significant factor in determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AYP would include aggressive, uniform growth requirements to ensure consistent graduation rate increases.

Schools, districts, and states would receive credit for eventually graduating students who take longer than four years to graduate, while maintaining the goal of graduating the majority of students in four years.

Technical assistance would be available to help schools and districts collect and streamline graduation data.

The Every Student Counts Act builds on the National Governors Association’s Graduation Rate Compact that was signed by all 50 of the nation’s governors in 2005.

Many reports have shown that high school dropouts can strain local economies. If the country was able to cut dropout rates for minority students in major cities in half, the nation would save $2.3 billion in an average year, create 17,450 jobs, and increase tax revenues by $249.7 million—all on the basis of one high school class.

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