This study from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. evaluated 16 dropout programs for middle and high school students under the School Dropout Demonstration Assistance Program (SDDP). Analysis and discussion mostly focus on the aggregate impact of programs on middle schools or high schools, rather than on specific programs. The study found that middle school programs had a significant effect in reducing dropout only if they were implemented with high intensity. The programs, regardless of intensity, did not have an impact on student learning (e.g., grades, test scores).
Students Placed At-Risk
This book offers an alternative to current reform efforts, the Talent Development approach, detailing organizational, curricular, and instructional strategies that provide practitioners with a blueprint for whole school reform. The book presents the story of what happened in urban high schools when this approach was implemented. There are eight chapters in three parts.
This study explores whether state testing policies were related to differences in students’ likelihood of earning a high school diploma. The study also explores whether there is variation in the association of high school graduation with students’ backgrounds and expectations. It was found that the relationship between students’ likelihood of graduating from high school and their background, aspirations and teacher expectations varied among states with different practices.
Wake Summerbridge is an enrichment program that has supported selected WCPSS middle school students for a number of years. This evaluation compared subsequent academic performance, suspensions and dropout rates of students who had participated in the program with a comparison group of students with similar characteristics who did not participate in the program. The main positive finding was that dropout rates were much lower for Summerbridge students than for the comparison group (1% versus 13%).
This report, produced by the Comprehensive School Reform Quality (CSRQ) Center, outlines key issues educators face in school and district improvement including transitions, dropouts, postsecondary readiness, violence, and literacy. The report includes examples of how these issues have been addressed and offers further recommendations.
This issue brief from the National High School Center provides guidance to states as they respond to requirements presented in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) in the area of dropout prevention for students with disabilities. It also highlights the role of State Performance Plans as starting points for states to develop data collection and monitoring procedures, and supplies states with considerations and recommendations for providing a consistent method of tracking dropout data.
Last week, the High School Matters blog published comments by Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education Deb Delisle on the impact of “zero tolerance” school discipline on the school to prison pipeline.
The school-to-prison pipeline is a national trend in which students are pushed out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Research indicates that the pipeline is an unintended consequence of increasingly harsh school discipline policies such as “zero tolerance.” Additionally, schools increasingly rely on law enforcement to handle minor disciplinary issues previously administered internally. This creates the initial link between the classroom and the criminal justice system. Harsh discipline policies often disproportionally affect minority students and students with disabilities.
Family homelessness is an increasingly prevalent problem that detracts from a student’s ability to develop and learn the skills needed to graduate high school. One in 45 children, or 1.6 million children, are homeless in the U.S. every year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness (The National Center). Family homeless may be caused by a variety of factors, including lack of affordable housing, domestic violence, poverty, decreasing government supports, the challenges of raising children alone, or lack of social supports.
Upward Bound (UB), a federal TRIO Program that provides support to educationally and financially disadvantaged high school students to increase secondary graduation and enrollment in and graduation from postsecondary institutions, is one of the oldest and biggest federal programs geared towards this purpose.