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There’s been much commentary following the release of the latest GradNation report, particularly among charter school leaders.

The report notes a wide disparity in graduation rates among charter schools and calls out Alternative Education Campuses (AECs) and online schools for their low graduation rates, which led to some admonishments from others within the charter sector.

Before we get too judgmental, let’s remember that the federal government’s four-year cohort graduation rate was built for a traditional school model.

In fact, the National Governors Association task force credited with the creation of the four-year cohort advised policy makers to consider the “treatment of students whose graduation is delayed due to issues beyond a state’s or school’s control,” and to develop frameworks to “ensure schools are not penalized for helping struggling students successfully complete high school.”

While the current approach may be effective at measuring graduation rates for schools with a stable group of students, it’s ineffective at measuring high schools that take in high numbers of under-credited transfer students, which is exactly the case for many AECs and online public schools.

To read more, please visit: http://educationpost.org/lets-get-some-context-and-real-reform-around-graduation-rates/

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