California's continuation schools are meant to serve students 16 years or older who are at risk of not graduating from high school. The state stands out for having alternative programs designed for dropouts to reenter school.

The Department of Education provides extensive guidelines on the management and governance of alternative schools and programs.

California clearly defines special accountability indicators for alternative schools. This model incorporates factors beyond those required by both No Child Left Behind and California’s traditional state accountability system, such as student persistence, average credit completion, attendance, and GED completion.

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