Credit Recovery Explained

By Rebecca St. Andrie

Say the words “summer school,” and an image immediately flashes into your mind. The same doesn’t hold, however, for “credit recovery” --  a movement born out of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Credit recovery programs --  also described by some as “summer school after school” --  are designed to help struggling students graduate. Using many different strategies, often involving online class work, the programs give students who have fallen behind the chance to “recover” credits that otherwise would be lost.

This worthy effort nevertheless raises many questions for those involved in education simply because so little is known about it. No federal definition of credit recovery exists, although classes are supported by several government funding mechanisms. Similarly, no coherent definition has emerged among states that cite credit recovery programs in statutes or administrative codes.

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