Proposed House Legislation Responds to Mayors' Call to Reform High Schools
By Fritz Edelstein, and Stephanie Beer, USCM intern
November 3, 2003
On September 16, Representatives Ruben Hinojosa (TX) and Susan Davis (CA) introduced the Graduation for All Act (H.R. 3085). This is five months after the Conference of Mayors' annual meeting in Denver approved policy calling for dramatic improvements in American high schools. The legislation proposes to fund literacy coaches to help thwart high drop out rates in high schools. It would authorize $1 billion in federal funds. Literary coaches would be hired who would train teachers to use research-based literacy instruction in their teaching. Preference would be given to schools with high drop out rates. These schools would be allowed to hire one literacy coach for every 600 students, who would then work with both students and teachers. Participating states and school districts must disaggregate graduation rates by race, ethnicity, income, disability status, and limited English proficiency status. States must also set objectives for improving graduation rates and must report students who leave school but are enrolled in other GED programs.
This legislation is similar to Senator Patty Murray's (WA) Pathways for All Students to Succeed Act (PASS Act S. 1554) that addresses the declining performance of high school students. This legislation proposes three different efforts. These are a high school adolescent reading program that includes hiring of literacy coaches; grants for high schools identified as "in need of improvement" to turn around these schools; and a funds to hire academic counselors to improve students' ability to access post'secondary education.