Diana Anaya came to America to get an education, and she's not doing so well--at least according to the new No Child Left Behind regulations, which base graduation rates on four-year diploma earners. By that metric, Ayana, who should have graduated last year, is lagging. A closer look, however, reveals an honor roll student who takes care of her younger sister and works nights to pay rent and put food on the table. And she's not alone. Many Latino youths take longer than the standard four years to graduate as they balance school with family demands and job pressures. That the new regs ignore their challenges seems unfair. Accountability is a good thing, but so is a drizzle of flexibility on top.
"Graduating ASAP, if Not on State Timeline," by Theresa Vargas, Washington Post, November 11, 2008