In The News

Coalition Press Releases

April 2 , 2008

Contact: Kirk Monroe
Business Roundtable
(202) 496-3269 or

John Reid
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
(202) 463-5459


Business Community Commends The Department of Educationís Requirement That States Use a Common School Dropout Formula

Consistent Measurement is Key to Strengthening and Refining Accountability in K-12 Education

WASHINGTON, DC—The Business Coalition for Student Achievement (BCSA), representing business leaders from every sector of the U.S. economy, commended the Department of Education and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings on the announcement that all states will be required to use the same formula to calculate high school graduation rates. Governors from all 50 states, educators and business leaders endorsed a common formula and pledged to make information on high school graduation rates public, allowing parents to make accurate comparisons across states.

Recommendations put forth by BCSA to strengthen and improve the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) recommended the closure of loopholes that allow states to obscure information, such as graduation rates, and use statistical means to “game” the accountability system.

"Graduation rates are a key indicator to measure school performance. Now we will have a consistent and accurate way of assessing states’ progress in preparing students to succeed in college, citizenship and the 21st century workplace,” said Susan Traiman, director of education and workforce policy for Business Roundtable and spokesperson for BCSA.

“Never has the importance of accountability been so evident as in this issue of high school dropouts,” said Arthur J. Rothkopf, senior vice president and counselor to the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “As business leaders, we recognize that our nation must hold itself and its students to a higher standard to ensure that they succeed in school and beyond. We commend Secretary Spellings and the U.S. Department of Education for proposing measures to address the dropout crisis.”

The Business Coalition for Student Achievement – representing business leaders from every sector of the economy – is committed to supporting policies that improve the performance of the K-12 education system in the United States. The Coalition is co-chaired by Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of Intel; Arthur F. Ryan, Chairman of Prudential Financial, Inc.; and Edward B. Rust Jr., Chairman and CEO of State Farm, and is coordinated by Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce