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ESEA Reauthorization Comment
In the past year, President Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan have repeatedly stated that the purpose of high school should be to create “college- and career-ready students” and that they would work to ensure that the upcoming reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act encompasses this idea.
Reorienting ESEA to be about producing college- and career-ready students is a laudable goal, and one that College Summit fully supports. Setting a goal of preparing students for college and career requires the proper metrics to evaluate whether we are achieving this goal.
College Summit produced a comment to the bipartisan House Committee on Education and Labor that is launching the reauthorization process, urging the Committee to:
1. Ensure that ESEA requires states to provide to high schools the college enrollment rates of their graduates, as the Department of Education has suggested.
2. Ensure that ESEA requires states to provide to high schools the rates of college enrollment without need for remediation of their graduates, as the Department of Education has suggested.
3. Ensure that ESEA requires states to provide to high schools the college proficiency rates—defined as the rates at which high school graduates complete at least one year of college credit, as applicable to a degree, within two years—of their graduates. These data provide the most useful information, as they encompass enrollment information, remediation information, and retention information.
4. Ensure that ESEA ties college enrollment and college proficiency rates to accountability and reward measures, rewarding those schools that increase their college enrollment and proficiency rates over time.
This suggestion aligns with Secretary Duncan’s statement: “We want an accountability system that factors in student growth, progress in closing achievement gaps, proficiency towards college and career-ready standards, high school graduation and college enrollment rates.”
Read the comment to the House Committee on Education and Labor.
Read College Summit’s paper, The Promise of Proficiency, on the necessity of using postsecondary data.
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