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Dropout Prevention in the Middle Grades. Jennifer Dounay Education Commission of the States 37 th Annual New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. Caucus Weekend Albany, NY February 16, 2008. About ECS. 50-state education compact est’d 1965

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Dropout prevention in the middle grades

Dropout Prevention in the Middle Grades

Jennifer DounayEducation Commission of the States

37th Annual New York State Association of Black and

Puerto Rican Legislators, Inc. Caucus Weekend

Albany, NYFebruary 16, 2008


About ecs
About ECS

  • 50-state education compact est’d 1965

  • Nonpartisan, nonprofit

  • State fees, grants, corporate giving

  • Serves all state-level education policymakers and their staffs:

    • Governors

    • Legislators

    • State board members

    • State superintendents

    • SHEEOs and higher education boards

Education Commission of the States


About the study
About the study

  • “Preventing Student Disengagement in Middle Schools” (Johns Hopkins, Philadelphia Ed. Fund, 2007)

  • Philadelphia – high-poverty schools

  • How early in MG can students be ID’d?

  • Can students be ID’d reliably/easily by

    • Teachers?

    • Administrators?

Education Commission of the States


Four grade 6 indicators
Four grade 6 indicators

  • ID’d 60% of students who dropped out

    • Failing English

    • Failing math

    • Attendance = 80% or less

    • Final behavior marks (or suspension)

      • Behavior + failing = increased odds of DO

  • 52% = 0, 29% = 1, 11% = 2, 5% = 3

Education Commission of the States


Motivation achievement
Motivation/achievement

  • Diff. factors affect diff. student outcomes

  • “Academic press” ► student behavior

  • Utility ► effort

  • Parent involvement ► effort/attendance

    • PI = Parents feel welcome/help w/ homework

  • Intrinsic interest ► effort/attendance

Education Commission of the States


What s the answer
What’s the answer?

  • Comprehensive vs. piecemeal approach

    • Research-based curriculum

    • Intensive teacher PD and support (in class)

    • Focused student help in math, reading

    • Org. changes improve school community

      • Combo of small LC, teacher teams, looping

Education Commission of the States


Three tiered approach from table 12 balfanz herzog maciver 2007
Three-tiered approach(from Table 12, Balfanz, Herzog, MacIver, 2007)

Education Commission of the States


Three tiered approach from table 12 balfanz herzog maciver 20071
Three-tiered approach(from Table 12, Balfanz, Herzog, MacIver, 2007)

Education Commission of the States


Three tiered approach from table 12 balfanz herzog maciver 20072
Three-tiered approach(from Table 12, Balfanz, Herzog, MacIver, 2007)

Education Commission of the States


On demand classroom level data program educational leadership oct 2007
“On-demand, classroom-level data program”(Educational Leadership, Oct. 2007)

  • Teachers track individual students daily

    • Quickly ID those needing more intensive help

    • ID students who have responded to intensive help

    • Very successful so far

      • Philly will make available thru districtwide data management system

Education Commission of the States


Policy options
Policy options

  • Pilot comprehensive model

    • Competitive grant

    • ID districts in advance

  • Incorporate info re: MG early warning indicators in teacher, admin. prep./PD

Education Commission of the States



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