November 6, 2007





Swift & Change Able:
NCLB Reauthorization News & Analysis

A new Web site, Swift & Change Able, was recently launched to provide coverage and analysis of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) as it undergoes the reauthorization process. Swift & Change Able examines NCLB at the state and local school district levels, as well as the ongoing reauthorization process in Washington, D.C.

Their most recent article on November 5, 2007, examines a recent study on high school dropout rates published by the Associated Press and frames the issue in the context of secondary education reform.  

“Dropout Rates: Is High School Reform a Sleeper Issue?” 

"Why do dropout rates remain so high? And what can be done to turn this problem around? …  

"NCLB requires that schools use both test scores and graduation rates to determine adequate yearly progress. The Miller-McKeon NCLB proposed overhaul of NCLB would… tighten these provisions. As the AP article notes, the proposed legislation would: 

  • Make sure schools report their graduation rates by racial, ethnic and other subgroups and are judged on those. That’s to ensure schools aren’t just graduating white students in high numbers, but also are working to ensure minority students get diplomas.
  • Get states to build data systems to keep track of students throughout their school years and more accurately measure graduation and dropout rates.
  • Ensure states count graduation rates in a uniform way. States have used a variety of formulas, including counting the percentage of entering seniors who get a diploma. That measurement ignores the fact that kids who drop out typically do so before their senior year.
  • Create strong progress goals for graduation rates and impose sanctions on schools that miss them. Most states currently lack meaningful goals, according to The Education Trust, a nonprofit that advocates for poor and minority children."



For more information, visit