Education warns about hoax e-mails

The Education Department is warning parents and students about false and inaccurate statements being circulated via e-mail regarding graduation requirements and the No Child Left Behind Act. These e-mail messages could lead to misunderstandings and need to be corrected, an Education spokesman said.

Department spokesman Chad Colby said the hoax e-mails contain numerous inaccuracies, including false assertions about the relationship between state graduation requirements and NCLB, eligibility to receive federal loans, and the descriptions of state laws and schools in Indiana and Illinois.

He said while each state sets its own requirements for high school diplomas, General Educational Development (GED) tests and Certificates of Completion, the education law signed by President Bush does not change those state definitions. But it does require that states calculate graduation rates based on a “regular high school diploma.”

In practice, this means that a GED or Certificate of Completion does not count positively in the graduation rate calculation, Colby said.

Similarly, most colleges and trade schools require a high school diploma or its equivalent for entrance, so anyone holding only a Certificate of Completion would need to go back and complete the necessary academic requirements to get a diploma before applying for admission to the school, and then apply for federal student aid.

In addition, according to Indiana officials, there are several inaccuracies about Indiana in the e-mail messages, Colby said.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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