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Equity and ESEA: Holding High Schools Accountable for Traditionally Underserved Students

Absent any federal requirement to monitor the performance of student subgroups, a significant number of states have implemented accountability systems that either ignore the performance of these students or provide only minimal oversight.

As Congress moves forward with reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it must codify the 2008 high school graduation rate regulations and require states and districts to implement interventions in high schools where one or more student subgroups miss one or more state-set performance targets for two or more years.

In doing so, Congress can use the reauthorization of ESEA as an opportunity to strengthen, not weaken, the protections for historically underserved students and dramatically improve their academic outcomes.