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Scholars Suggest Improvements in Graduation Data That Community Colleges Are Required to Report

The graduation figures that community colleges must report under the federal Student Right to Know Act of 1990 do not provide a useful or realistic portrait of the colleges' effectiveness, several scholars said here on Monday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

"Raw graduation rates are poor measures of community-college performance," said Davis Jenkins, a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center, a unit of Teachers College of Columbia University.

"Historically, outcome-based reforms haven't worked very well when states have tried them," said Thomas Bailey, director of the Community College Research Center. "But if we someday have four or five different, accurate measures, who knows what might happen?"

This article appeared in the April 10, 2007 edition of the Chronicle: Daily News. 

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