In Michigan, homeless students and dropouts will have a new place to earn their education and seek shelter.
Covenant House, which is scheduled to open in August, anticipates an enrollment of 150, but it could double that number if needed.
More than 200 school officials from across California attended the largest anti-truancy event ever held in the state, the California Truancy Summit, last week in Lemoore. The school leaders discussed how to prevent — and, as necessary, prosecute — student truancy.
How much does truancy and absenteeism cost the state?
Kings County District Attorney Greg Strickland drew a sharp line from truant students to dropouts — and noted that three-quarters of the state’s prison inmates don’t have high school diploma.
“Dropouts cost the state $40 billion a year, so it’s cheaper to keep kids in school rather than paying for a trial,” Strickland said.
Strickland has been aggressive in pursuing truancy cases. In 2011, he sent a mother to jail for allowing her three children to miss about a month of school.
How much do high school dropouts cost a state?
According to the MacIver Institute in Madison, Wisc., the Badger State missed out on a staggering $3.7 billion due to lower average income in its population of high school dropouts.
And that’s in a state with the highest graduation rate in the midwest — nearly 90 percent.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with encouraging students to reach toward college. But all too often, we ignore those who have vocational plans.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says it’s time to change that paradigm — and he’s absolutely right.
It’s natural for teachers and administrators to emphasize college; that was their experience, after all. And indeed, their general inexperience with vocational training might leave them very unaware of what that type education is — and thus under-qualified to even offer advice to students about such paths.
It’s time to celebrate vocational training.
That’s the message from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who told attendees at an education leadership summit this week that “public high schools are over-emphasizing four-year college degrees as an option for high school students” and that vocational degrees should be in the spotlight.
Snyder also believes that the Michigan Merit Curriculum — proposed by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2006 — has set standards too high and could be limiting students who may be more successful in a vocational training program.
What’s after high school?
That’s the question being asked in Graham, N.C., where education leaders are finding that keeping students engaged during high school means keeping them focused on what comes next.
The efforts in Graham were spotlighted this week when U.S. Department of Education senior advisor Greg Darnieder made a two-day visit to see the effects of the community’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program, which is funded by a department grant administered through the University of North Carolina.
They don't know it yet — and many of the them probably never will — but a lot of at-risk students in New Mexico have just had their lives changed for the better by Gov. Susana Martinez and Public Education District Secretary Hanna Skandera.
Last week, the duo announced the new statewide Early Dropout Warning System to identify and assist students who are at the highest risk for dropping out of school. If everything works as planned, the system will help educators identify students who need the most academic and social interventions — long before those students begin to consider dropping out of school.
The program factors in vital data, including elementary reading scores, truancy records and academic performance.
“We shouldn’t wait until high school to have the discussion with our students about graduation," Martinez said in a statement. "We need to start early.”
A new program education leaders in Sacramento, California hope to launch is aimed at getting recent dropouts back to school.
In Stanislaus County, students over the age of 18 aren’t allowed to earn a high school diploma. Students who drop out and turn 19 have few viable options as a GED isn’t highly regarded, Superintendent Tom Chagnon told KCRA.
He knows students need a high school diploma to be successful, and he wants the program Comeback Kids to helps dropouts age 18 to 22.
Schools in Missouri have a 3.2 percent dropout rate, and Columbia high schools have a 4 percent rate.
But one school in Columbia, Frederick Douglass High School, has a whopping 33 percent dropout rate.
The students at the school, though, are facing some pretty difficult circumstances, according to the program Intersection on KBIA.
Many don’t have a stable food source and several are homeless, which creates pretty big hurdles to getting homework done.