Improving Low-Performing High Schools: Searching for Evidence of Promise

This report presents a review of improvement strategies and reforms that educators and policymakers can develop and implement to support low-performing high schools. The report explains the theories that drive each reform strategy, reviews the evidence supporting the strategies, and provides suggestions for implementing the reforms. Some of the reform strategies include dual enrollment, early college high schools, learning communities, career academies, and charter high schools. 

Pathways through College: Strategies for Improving Community College Student Success

This brief discusses the barriers to community college completion faced by students, such as lack of preparation, financial aid, and competing obligations. The brief also offers solutions for improving community college student outcomes through implementing promising practices and strategies, some of which include curriculum alignment and student supports.

Kennewick Schools Wants Former Students Back

School officials in Kennewick, Washington  will be visiting the homes of dropout students to encourage them to complete their high school degree as part of their "We Want You Back" campaign. The program targets former students who are at least 18 years old, but also young enough to feel comfortable participating in a  traditional or alternative high school. Last year volunteers were able to identify, locate, and talk to 10 out of 35 dropouts and several of them enrolled in the program.

High School Dropout and the Role of Career and Technical Education: A Survival Analysis of Surviving High School

This study explored the relationship between career and technical education (CTE) course taking and high school completion rates. Data analysis was conducted with a longitudinal database of a nationally representative sample of nearly 9,000 students. Results show that for youth who are younger than 15 years when entering ninth grade, CTE combined with core academic course taking, may decrease the risk of dropout. The most favorable results are found when students take one CTE course for every two core academic courses. 

Career and Technical Education in the Balance: An Analysis of High School Persistence, Academic Achievement, and Postsecondary Destinations

This study explored the benefits of career and technical education. The author examined dropout rates, academic achievement, and postsecondary outcomes. The four groups consisted of (1) academic concentrators, (2) CTE concentrators, (3) dual concentrators, and (4) neither academic nor CTE concentrators. The study found that academic concentrators had the highest 1992 achievement scores in reading, mathematics, science, and history, and CTE students scored the lowest.

Pathway to Recovery: Implementing a Back on Track Through College Model

This brief from Jobs for the Future outlines a model for engaging disconnected and at-risk youth through the development of aligned postsecondary pathways and academic supports. The brief presents an overview of the current attainment and skills gap and then outlines the Back on Track Through College model, including examples of successful implementation and policy recommendations that support implementation.

Creating Postsecondary Pathways to Good Jobs for Young High School Dropouts: The Possibilities and the Challenges

This paper focuses on strategies for creating postsecondary pathways for high school dropouts in order to close the skills gap as well as connect the talents of these youth to postsecondary skills and credentials. The paper argues that in order to improve educational and economical outcomes for high school dropouts, there must be alignment of secondary, postsecondary, workforce, and adult education systems and several actions must be taken.

Closing the Graduation Gap: A Superintendent's Guide for Planning Multiple Pathways to Graduation

This guide presents superintendents with a framework for how graduation rates can be increased at the district level. An approach that has been successful in several districts, referred to as Multiple Pathways to Graduation, is also highlighted. Districts that were able to close the graduation gap did so by: reframing the dropout conversation, analyzing the local dynamics of the graduation crisis, re-designing school and district operations to increase responsiveness, and strategicallly managing a portfolio of schools.

Exploring Dropout Recovery Partnerships Online

On June 6, the Dropout Recovery and Prevention Online Community of Practice (COP) hosted a webinar titled, “Partners in Dropout Recovery: Getting Creative to Find and Recruit Students.” This webinar represented the first dissemination and network engagement event of the community, which is managed by the American Institutes for Research through the


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