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Dropout Prevention Jennifer Dounay Education Commission of the States Presentation to Alaska legislators and educators Anchorage, AK October 9, 2008. Dropouts: A National Perspective. Nearly 1 out of 3 high school students will drop out 1.2 million/year

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Dropout PreventionJennifer DounayEducation Commission of the StatesPresentation to Alaska legislators and educatorsAnchorage, AKOctober 9, 2008


Dropouts a national perspective
Dropouts: A National Perspective

  • Nearly 1 out of 3 high school students will drop out

  • 1.2 million/year

  • Lower graduation rates among male, American Indian, Black, Hispanic youth

Education Commission of the States


What s correlated with dropping out

Financial

More likely to be unemployed

Average annual wages near poverty level

Lost wages and tax revenues

Incarceration

75% of state prison inmates

69% of jail inmates

About 59% of federal inmates

What’s correlated with dropping out?

Education Commission of the States


More bad news
More bad news…

  • Health

    • Link between yrs. of school, life expectancy

  • Public health costs

  • Welfare

  • Teen pregnancy

Education Commission of the States


What does the research say
What Does the Research Say?

  • On-track in grade 9

  • Sixth grade indicators

  • Student/teacher relationships

  • Parental involvement/expectations

  • School size

  • Math course taking, curriculum, achievement

Education Commission of the States


What do dropouts say
What do dropouts say?

  • Courses boring, no relation to real world

  • Not motivated/inspired to work hard

    • 2/3 would have worked harder if more expected of them

  • No job or career direction in HS

  • Failing in school

  • Parents didn’t know till it was too late

  • “Too much freedom”

    Sources: The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts, Civic Enterprises LLC, 2006

    Michigan Education Association survey of young adults, May 2008

Education Commission of the States


Dropout prevention what states are doing
Dropout Prevention: What States Are Doing

  • Increasing rigor of HS curriculum

  • Student accountability

  • Graduation plans/career “majors”

  • Counseling

  • Remediation

  • Early college high schools

  • Small schools/small learning communities

  • Alternative pathways to standard diploma

  • Middle grades efforts

  • Parental involvement

  • Ninth grade initiatives

  • Dual enrollment

Education Commission of the States


Increasing rigor of hs curriculum
Increasing rigor of HS curriculum

  • Supported by research

  • At least 8 states: college/work ready for all

  • Too soon to tell for state efforts

  • Local efforts encouraging (San Jose, CA)

  • Has to be done right (teacher prep + PD, remediation supports, etc.)

Education Commission of the States


Student accountability
Student Accountability

  • 18 as upper compulsory school age: 20 states

    • Gets at “too much freedom” cited by dropouts

    • Some research support

  • No pass no drive: 27 states

  • No pass no play: 16 states

  • No known research support, some anecdotal support for “no pass”

Education Commission of the States


Graduation plans career majors
Graduation Plans/Career Majors

  • 9 states, will be 20 + DC by 2011

  • Career majors: 3-4 states, will be 5-6 by 2011

  • Add relevance

  • Relatively new: not aware of research base

Education Commission of the States


Counseling
Counseling

  • Georgia: Graduation Coaches

    • ID at-risk students, keep on track academically

    • Now also in middle schools

    • AL now piloting program

  • Colorado: School Counselors Corps Grant Program

    • Priority to schools w/above avg. dropout rates

Education Commission of the States


Remediation
Remediation

From ECS database:

  • District must provide/student must attend

  • Individual learning plans for at-risk students

  • Programs must be evaluated: 10 states

  • Supported by research and dropouts themselves

Education Commission of the States


Early college high schools
Early College High Schools

  • Students can earn HS diploma + 2-year degree in 5 years

  • Geared toward underserved students

  • State-level policies: 6 states (CO, MI, NC, PA, TN, TX)

  • Early returns positive:

    • Attendance rates avg. over 90%

    • Grade promotion avg. over 90%

    • Better academic performance than home districts

    • High graduation rates

  • Coming soon: ECS policy brief on model state policy components of ECHS

Education Commission of the States


Small schools small learning communities
Small Schools/Small Learning Communities

  • More local than state response

  • Research and dropouts support

  • NV: HS of 1,200+ students must provide SLCs for grade 9

  • CA: Pilot to fund small high schools

  • FL: School within a school

Education Commission of the States


Alternative pathways to standard diploma
Alternative Pathways to Standard Diploma

  • Credit recovery

    • Online or computer-based

    • Targeted to student need

  • Indiana: School Flex program

  • Nevada: Earn HS credits while working toward HS promotion

  • Flexible scheduling

  • Alternative means of showing competency

Education Commission of the States


Middle grades efforts
Middle Grades Efforts

  • Grade 6 research supports

  • RI, LA: Coaching for students below grade level in reading, math

  • GA: Graduation coaches in middle schools

  • NV: Dist. reports must incl. dropout rates for grades 6-8 (separate from HS dropout rates)

Education Commission of the States


Parental involvement
Parental Involvement

  • Research, dropouts support

  • HS parents don’t always know what involvement matters

  • Areas of policy

    • Developing formal policy

    • Reaching out on academic expectations

    • Accommodating parents’ needs

    • Building staff capacity

    • Building parent capacity

    • Developing benchmarks, evaluating impact

  • ECS policy brief August 2008

Education Commission of the States


Ninth grade initiatives
Ninth Grade Initiatives

  • NV: 9th grade SLC in large high schools

    • Keep data on credits earned, attendance, truancy, other at-risk indicators

    • Offer timely ID of grade 9 student needs, i.e., remediation, counseling

    • Increase parent involvement in grade 9

    • Assign guidance counselors, 1+ licensed admin., adult mentors for 9th graders

  • LA: Early intervention for students at risk of failing any 9th grade math

  • RI: Early intervention for those who fail Algebra I or any 9th grade math class

Education Commission of the States


Dual enrollment
Dual Enrollment

  • RI: For dist. w/dropout rate > 15%

  • OR: “Priority” for districts to inform dropouts of Expanded Options

    • DOE must report # of dropouts who participate, earn HS diploma

  • IN: Fast Track to College

Education Commission of the States


Dropout recovery
“Dropout Recovery”

  • Increasing the upper statutory age

  • Flex. in accelerating learning, demonstrating competency

  • Flexible credit recovery options

  • Flexibility in course scheduling, course loads

  • Clear connections to PS and/or workforce

  • Communicating options to the public

  • Source: ECS, “Beyond the GED: State Strategies to Help Former Dropouts Earn a High School Diploma,” August 2008

Education Commission of the States


Jdounay@ecs org 303 299 3689
[email protected]303.299.3689

Education Commission of the States


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