I will not waste chalk.
I will not skateboard in the halls.
I will not burp in class.
As the cable network FXX begins its historic Simpsons marathon today, fans will get a chance to re-live every instance, from hundreds of title sequences, in which Bart detailed his mischievous misdeeds on the fourth grade classroom blackboard.
He's been doing it since 1989 — writing lines in penance for everything from flatulence to selling land in Florida. With each new episode, though, Bart is back at school. The slate has been wiped clean.
It's a great running gag — one fans have been looking forward to each week for a quarter century. But the joke belies a fact about our real world that is anything but funny:
We all know how many students drop out of high school each year.
Every state produces an annual report detailing graduation and dropout rates for high schoolers.
But what about students who drop out before then?
In California, a state law passed in 2009 required the state office of education to publish a middle-school dropout rate. But the state office never has, according to the Hechinger Report.
Usually, NoDropouts doesn’t celebrate celebrities who have dropped out of high school and then made it big. Those are a one in a billion chance of happening, and students shouldn’t be encouraged to drop out of school with the hopes of striking it rich one day.
However, Katy Perry, who dropped out as a freshman, is working to give back to educators through her “Make Roar Happen” initiative. She has teamed up with Staples to fund $1 million in educational projects across the country based on posts to DonorsChoose.org, according to Inquisitr.
Predicting whether a student will drop out can be difficult, and many of the factors affecting that decision are not easily addressed by educators — poverty, health, crime and homelessness.
However, Chicago educators are looking at one factor to help students stay on the path to graduation: ninth-grade performance.
“That one indicator was more predictive of who would graduate than anything else,” Elaine Allensworth, Director of the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, told the Education Writers Association.
As students are getting ready to go back to school, it’s important not to forget the thousands of teens who won’t be joining their peers.
In a heartfelt and informative op-ed on CNN, Alma J. Powell, chairwoman of the board of directors for America’s Promise Alliance, emphasized the importance of not forgetting students who have left school.
What if we looked at at-risk students as leaders?
It's a simple yet radical approach that has worked in schools Jason Towne, author of "Conversations with America's Best Teachers," has visited.
In one visit to a Florida high school, Towne talked to school leaders who had students who wouldn't attend counseling, or who would shut down when they did, according to a commentary in Education Week. Towne suggested finding 100 at-risk students and invite them to a leadership seminar, where they would meet in small groups and share their stories.
A nonprofit is helping address the dropout crisis in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens in New York City through art.
Groundswell has hired a group of about 15 young artists aged 14 to 24 to paint a mural at PS/IS 116 William C. Hughley addressing the crippling dropout rates in Jamaica. There, Jamaica High School was closed recently because it had a graduation rate of about 50 percent for the last decade, according to an article on DNAInfo.com.
A school district in Mississippi is turning to the community to help students stay on track to graduation.
The “Goal ’17” program in the Natchez-Adams School District partners adults with ninth graders and asks the two to keep up a mentoring relationship all the way through graduation day.
A New Mexico program is using peer networking to reach out to dropouts.
The Engage Santa Fe program, hosted by Santa Fe Public Schools, asks teens such as Santa Fe High School recent graduate Udell Calzadillas, 18, and Valeria Alvarado, a 19-year-old University of Mexico student, to talk with dropouts ages 16-21 about coming back to school, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.
The Kentucky Department of Education is offering school districts $10,000 grants to work on dropout prevention.
The grants are a great idea, and they come with the stipulation that 75 percent of the money must be spent on programs in elementary and middle school, and the rest can be used on high school programs. The emphasis on early intervention is a smart move, according to an article on WLWT Channel 5.