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On December 12, Mindee O’Cummings, co-team leader of the National High School Center’s Early Warning System team, participated in a Webinar on early warning systems with the Data Quality Campaign. Joining Dr. O’Cummings were Joanna Fox of the Everyone Graduates Center, Kathleen Small of the Virginia Department of Education and Jenny Curtin of the Massachusetts Department of Education. Joanna Fox provided an overview of the indicator research that has been done at the Everyone Graduates Center at John’s Hopkins University. Ms. Fox’s presentation focused on three key areas: attendance, behavior and course performance, which have been shown to be highly predictive of eventual student disengagement and dropout. Dr. O’Cummings spoke about the National High School Center’s Early Warning System Tool which compares student performance data to the indicators identified by the Everyone Graduates Center, as well as other researchers. Both Massachusetts and Virginia have adopted the National High School Center’s Early Warning System. The Massachusetts Department of Education worked closely with the National High School Center to develop an Early Warning System that utilized their student data and tracked students from first grade through high school graduation. This system went into effect this fall. Similarly, beginning in 2007-08, the Virginia Department of Education and the National High School Center collaborated on the development and implementation of Virginia’s Early Warning System. Because of the length of time Virginia’s Early Warning System has been in place, the state has compiled longitudinal data showing significant improvements in the statewide graduation rate for the class of 2012, versus students graduating in 2008. For more information on the Webinar, the DQC’s new fact sheet on Early Warning Systems, or to watch a recording of the presentation, please visit the Data Quality Campaign’s Web site. For more information on the National High School Center’s Early Warning System, please visit our Web site where you can download a free version of our Early Warning System Middle Grades and High School Tools.
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