More understanding of students' attitudes toward school will lead to a better predictor of drop out

Those of us in the fight against the dropout epidemic know that a student’s decision to drop out is not made overnight.

In some cases, a student’s kindergarten experience pulls them off the track of graduation, while others begin to lose interest in late elementary or middle school. In many cases, plain old demographics play a majorly disruptive role in a student’s education.

But many students who exhibit risk factors persevere and others who have low risk factors drop out. So how do you tell who is going to and who isn’t early enough to intervene?

Read More »

Op-Ed: Policymakers and at-risk students suffer from a class divide that makes dropout prevention more difficult

When policymakers create solutions for dropouts, they might not be thinking the same way as students with at-risk backgrounds.

An op-ed in The Pierce County Tribune by Lloyd Omdahl looks at the mindset differences between those who set policy and those who are expected to follow it.

In his piece, he focuses heavily on class differences and how people from high classes and low classes perceive the world.

Read More »

Santa Fe works to address its truancy problem

Santa Fe is facing a truancy crisis.

In the art-loving New Mexican city, nearly 1/3 of high school students and 1 in 5 elementary students are accumulating 10 or more days of unexcused absences in a year, according to an editorial in the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Read More »

Oregonian rightly rails agains the GED and encourages the Beaver State to focus dropout recovery efforts on high school diplomas

The debate over the worth of a GED is continuing in Oregon.

The state has set the ambitious goal of all adults holding a high school diploma by 2025. Some lawmakers and other state leaders may look at the GED as a quick and easy way to make that goal.

But a pointed editorial in The Oregonian identifies several reasons why a GED is not as worthy a credential as a high school diploma.

Read More »

President Obama focuses on education during the State of the Union, now it's up to all of us to bring it in reach

Education was front and center at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

In his first words, he delivered an anecdote straight from a classroom:
"Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it, and did her part to lift America’s graduation rate to its highest level in more than three decades," he said.

While we should be celebrating the high graduation rates, Obama acknowledged that there still is work to be done.

"The problem is we’re still not reaching enough kids, and we’re not reaching them in time.  That has to change.

Read More »

Goodwill helps dropouts in Indiana earn their high school diplomas

A non-profit in Indiana is helping dropouts earn a high school diploma.

Goodwill, which tackles several social problems, has opened the Excel Center, a network of nine charter schools that are designed to bring adult dropouts back into the educational fold, according to PBS Newshour.

Read More »

Ohio lawmakers working to help third-graders read proficiently is good, but retaining them isn't the answer

The Ohio Legislature wants to help students graduate by making sure they are reading on grade-level.

It's a smart piece of legislation, with one fatal flaw: Lawmakers want to make students who aren't on grade level repeat the third grade.

Research has shown time and time again that forcing a child to repeat a grade causes emotional and psychological damage to a child and has no correlation with raising graduation rates. In fact, it more often hurts students' graduation rates. (Click here for a PDF of the full study).

Read More »

President Obama touts dropout rate, but 35 million Americans still don’t have diplomas

There’s no question the country is heading in the right direction when it comes to keeping students in school, but in a nation with 35 million dropouts, prevention is not enough.

“Until every American has the opportunity to go back to school, we cannot be satisfied with a decrease in dropout rates,” said Rebekah Richards, the chief academic officer and co-founder of Graduation Alliance, which partners with more than 80 school districts across the United States to give young men and women a path back to school and sponsors this blog.

Read More »

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gives new guidelines on school discipline in hopes of stopping school-to-prison pipeline

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder wants schools to stop criminalizing students that don't follow basic school rules.

The Department of Justice filed several lawsuits against cities that charge students with crimes for violations as small as dress code issues. Yes, in some places in the country, you can have a juvenile record for wearing the wrong color socks.

Holder spoke about the rollout of the new disciplinary guidelines, hoping to end the school-to-prison pipeline that sadly exists in districts around the country.

Read More »

Washington program helps dropouts earn diplomas

A program in Washington State is earning the attention of dropouts who want to earn their high school diploma.

The program, called iGrad, is a collaboration between Kent School District and Green River Community College has enrolled 540 students and many more are waiting to get in, according to The Seattle Times.

Read More »