We’re big fans of Claudio Sanchez. Few journalists in the United States have both the depth of experience and the passion that he brings to covering education issues for National Public Radio.
In the complex effort to put highly qualified teachers in front of the students who need them most, here’s one more part of the puzzle:
This year in Oklahoma a long-awaited dark curtain affecting high school graduation has finally come down.
That curtain, argues Tulsa Tech director of education Richard F. Palazzo, is a series of rigorous tests in mathematics, science and English language arts that will lead “disappointed, frustrated and disconnected seniors” to “throw their hands up and leave school.”
Three years ago, Chicago Public Schools student Devonta Roebuck was cutting class, hanging out with the wrong crowd and on academic probation. Figuring he would never get his grades up in time for graduation, he dropped out but re-enrolled in an alternative school called Innovations, where he has thrived.
Today, Devonta is looking for a college to attend.
For high school dropouts motivated to get back in the classroom and those at risk for dropping out, a new program starting next month will enable students to earn their high school degrees and college credit at the same time.
At NoDropouts.org we’ve seen dropout prevention programs of all shapes and sizes. And in general, well like to say, that in a nation in which as many as 1.2 million students drops out each year, any effort to fight the status quo is worthy of support.
Dazmon Taylor was bullied, threatened, intimidated and ostracized.
"I couldn't handle it," Taylor told The Detroit News, "so I just stopped going to school altogether."
As advocates for an all-hands-on-deck approach to fighting the dropout epidemic, we applaud anyone who wants to do something to keep students in school.
But a proposed bill in Wyoming, where legislators are proposing a "big stick" approach to dropout prevention, does nothing to address the root causes of Wyoming’s dropout epidemic.
The Graduation Matters Billings initiative shows that Billings Public Schools is moving in the right direction — and with 30 new graduates this year (and scores more in the future) it’s nothing to scoff at.
Of course, the problem is much larger than one program can solve.
A goal of zero dropouts? Is this really possible?
And Boulder Valley School District seems to be on that path — tracking students, offering support groups, and then — if necessary — offering online or alterative schooling and dropout recovery programs.
It's all about "reaching out," says Boulder High Principal Kevin Braney.