Are online courses the best ways to help at-risk students?

Providing flexibility and accessibility to at-risk students is key to keeping them on the graduation path.

But are online courses the best way to provide those options?

A new study in Massachusetts, conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute is looking at just that. The study is looking at about 6,000 students in 19 high schools, and it focuses on online classes that are similar to summer school classes, according to NEPR.

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Private-public partnerships help students succeed with Diplomas Now

Schools across the nation are beating the odds and finding ways to help the most at-risk students succeed in school.

Robert Balfanz and Cynthia Trudell wrote an opinion column in Crain’s Chicago Business that espoused the value of schools partnering with Diplomas Now, which Balfanz co-founded. In 39 schools in 13 cities, students are staying on track to graduate, thanks to a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the PepsiCo Foundation.

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Learn about life-skill instruction and how it can help solve the dropout epidemic

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network is hosting its first live TV webcast to address "Solutions to the Dropout Crisis" on March 4.

The event will air from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. EST at

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Florida superintendent looks to help, rather than punish, misbehaving students

A Florida superintendent has turned discipline policies on their head — and it's paying off in dividends.

Robert Runcie took over Broward County Public Schools about two years ago, and the changes he's made have been radical.

“Looking at the glaring expulsion, arrest and dropout rates for our black and Latino students, I knew that we had to do something dramatically different,” Runcie told NBC News.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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