§ 16-90-5. Implementation.
(a) Duties and responsibilities imposed by the statute with respect to the state's adoption, public reporting and implementation, with respect to the public high schools in the state, of a standard four (4) year adjusted cohort graduation rate using the defined formula.
(1) Within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this act, the board of regents, in conjunction with each local school board, district, or agency, shall adopt and implement a standard four (4) year adjusted cohort graduation rate definition and data collection protocol using the graduation rate formula as defined in this chapter.
(2) Students who enroll in a GED or any other alternative educational program that does not issue or provide credits toward the issuance of a regular high school diploma are not "transfers out" and remain in the cohort for the purpose of graduation rate calculations described in this chapter.
(3) The board of regents, in conjunction with each local school board, district, or agency shall develop and retain capacity for collection, analysis, and public reporting of public high school graduation rate data. Graduation rates shall be calculated and publicly reported for each school, school district and for the state. Graduation rates shall be calculated and publicly reported in the aggregate and disaggregated by the major racial and ethnic groups, for students with disabilities, for English language learners, for socio-economically disadvantaged students, and for non-socio-economically disadvantaged students.
(4) The state's education system, in conjunction with local school with school districts, is encouraged to develop and implement one or more complementary indicators to enhance the state's ability to measure and report different forms of high school completion, including: five (5) and six (6) year graduation rates; dropout rates; retention rates; completion rates; and college-ready graduation rates. The board of regents shall develop consistent definitions to ensure that these measures are reported in comparable ways across schools and districts within the state. These additional indicators will not replace or be presented or treated as an alternative to the graduation rate delineated in this chapter.
(5) Nothing in this chapter should be construed as limiting the reporting on a variety of other indices of school completion such as dropout rates, five (5) and six (6) year graduation rates, and other school completion rates recommended for development in this chapter.
(6) The board of regents shall take the necessary steps to inculcate in the overall mission of the state's education system, the importance of collecting, maintaining, analyzing, and publicly reporting at the state and district level, accurate and disaggregated data on the graduation rates of public high schools at the district and school level. These steps include, but are not limited to, mandatory training for all school district administrators, registrars and other school-and district-based personnel with responsibility for collecting and maintaining data on cohorts and graduation rates. In addition, the board of regents shall implement a system for verifying the accuracy of locally reported graduation-rate data that shall include statistical checks and analyses along with on-site audits of record-keeping procedures to ensure that schools and districts adhere to state standards and guidelines.
(7) The board of regents shall take the necessary steps to educate the public as to the need for the state's education system to be able to collect, maintain, analyze, and report publicly, accurate data on the graduation rates of public high schools and school districts. Such steps shall include, but not be limited to, outreach to civic associations, community based groups, and parents organizations to educate them about the need for accurate graduation rates, to inform them of the reporting and assistance to be implemented by the state, and to solicit suggestions and community support.
(8) The board of regents shall collaborate with local governments in the process of adopting and implementing the public high school graduation rate required by this section. This collaboration shall include the calculation and public reporting of an interim graduation rate until such time as the state and local governments have all the data required to fully implement the cohort graduation rate definition mandated by this chapter. This interim graduation rate shall be the ratio of diploma recipients in the given year to ninth (9th) grade enrollment four (4) years prior.
(9) The interim graduation rate mandated in this chapter shall be used as the additional high school indicator for the purposes of determining a high school's adequate yearly progress status under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 until such time as the cohort graduation rate, mandated by this chapter is implemented upon implementation of the cohort graduation rate. This rate shall be used as the additional high school indicator for the purposes of determining a high school's adequate yearly progress status under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
(b) This chapter applies only to graduation rate data for students who attend public high schools in Rhode Island.
(P.L. 2009, ch. 204, § 1.)