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About ECS

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About ECS

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  1. Dropouts and Dropout PreventionJennifer DounayEducation Commission of the StatesPresentation to Colorado Dropout Prevention, Retention and Recovery SummitMountain Range High School, Westminster, CODecember 5, 2007

  2. About ECS • 50-state education compact est’d 1965 • Nonpartisan, nonprofit • 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

  3. Dropout Prevention: What States Are Doing • Increasing rigor of HS curriculum • Student accountability • Graduation plans/career “majors” • Remediation • Early college high schools • Small schools/small learning communities • Alternative pathways to standard diploma • Middle grades efforts • Parental involvement • Ninth grade initiatives Education Commission of the States

  4. Increasing Rigor • Supported by research • At least 8 states: “College/work ready for all” • Too soon to tell for state efforts • Local efforts (San Jose, CA) encouraging Education Commission of the States

  5. Student Accountability • Upper compulsory school age • Gets at “too much freedom” cited by dropouts • No pass/no drive: 27 states • No pass/no play: 23 states • Upper statutory age: 21 in 31 states • Learnfare Education Commission of the States

  6. Graduation Plans/Career Majors • Graduation plans: 9 states, will be 20 + DC by 2011 • Career majors: 3-4 states, will be 5-6 by 2011 • Add relevance • Not aware of research base Education Commission of the States

  7. Remediation • Districts req’d to provide/student req’d to attend • Individual graduation plans for at-risk students • State requires districts to evaluate: 10 states • Supported by research and dropouts themselves Education Commission of the States

  8. Early College High Schools • Combine HS w/Associate’s Degree (60 credits) • Targeted to high minority and/or high poverty • 2/3 African American or Latino • 60% free/reduced lunch • Center for Native Education: 18 sites in AK, CA, OR, WA • State-level policies in 5 states(CO, NC, PA, TN, TX) • Early returns positive: • 90%+ attendance rates • Promotion rates above 90% Education Commission of the States

  9. Small Schools/Small Learning Communities • More local than state-level response • Research and dropouts’ experience support • NV: HS of 1,200+ students must provide SLCs • CA: Financial incentives pilot • FL: Schools-within-a-school Education Commission of the States

  10. Alternative Pathways to Standard Diploma • KY: Credit recovery through virtual school • IN: School Flex program • FL: Districts must provide: • Alternative means of showing competency • Creative/flexible scheduling • Credit recovery courses, intensive math/reading intervention courses based on FCAT scores • FL: Dept. to provide more applied, integrated courses • NV: Earn HS credits while working toward HS promotion Education Commission of the States

  11. Middle Grades Efforts • FL, KY: Career awareness/planning as early as grade 6 • FL: Middle grades course promotion policies • FL: Intensive reading, math remediation for low FCAT scorers • NV: Include grade 6-8 dropout rates in state board report • MS: Pilot on building relationships, planning for future, importance of staying in school Education Commission of the States

  12. Parental Involvement • Addresses research, dropouts’ suggestions • Areas of policy: • Developing formal parent involvement policy • Communicating academic expectations to parents • Recognizing, accommodating parent needs • Building staff capacity to engage with parents • Building parent capacity to engage with fellow parents, staff, and community members • Developing success benchmarks and evaluating impact Education Commission of the States

  13. Ninth Grade Initiatives • NV: SLCs in large high schools: • Designate separate grade 9 area • Keep data on credits earned, attendance, truancy, other at-risk indicators • Offer timely ID of grade 9 student needs, i.e., remediation, counseling • Increase parental involvement at grade 9 • Assign guidance counselors, 1+ licensed administrator, adult mentors for 9th graders Education Commission of the States

  14. Mississippi Dropout Summit • MS goal: reduce DO rate by 50% in 5 years • “Destination Graduation” youth summit • Why students drop out • Student perspectives on 5 state strategies • Identify add’l strategies not already in plan • Catalyst for action in each high school? • America’s Promise summit in Feb. • Present results of youth summit Education Commission of the States

  15. Last but Not Least Dropping back in • Upper statutory age • Opportunities to earn HS diploma at CC • Flexible scheduling • Career/next steps planning Education Commission of the States

  16. Want to Learn More? • ECS Research Studies Database: www.ecs.org/rs • ECS Remediation Database: www.ecs.org > HS Databases • The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for All of America’s Children http://www.cbcse.org/modules/download_gallery/dlc.php?file=35 • Coming soon! ECS database and policy brief on early college high schools • Coming soon! ECS policy brief on parental involvement at the HS level Education Commission of the States

  17. jdounay@ecs.org 303.299.3689 Education Commission of the States