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Across U.S., graduation rates are rising, with little connection to test scores

By Matt Barnum ~ Chalkbeat ~ Alabama’s high school graduation rate was one of the lowest in the country in 2011. Today, it’s one of the highest. Over that same period, though, Alabama students have continued to perform among the worst in the nation on federal math and reading tests. That leaves the state with a jarring disconnect between its students’ academic skills and the share of diplomas it hands…

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Pressuring schools to raise test scores got diminishing returns, new study of No Child Left Behind finds

By Matt Barnun ~ Chalkbeat ~ Does tightening the screws on schools and teachers lead to benefits for students? For the past couple of decades, school reform efforts have assumed that the answer is yes. Setting ambitious goals, and putting pressure on schools to reach them, would push students ahead. And past research has shown that math scores rose as more states began threatening and sanctioning schools with low test…

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