dropout recovery

Why we can't measure dropout recovery students the same way as we measure others

Two credits.

That’s just a third of what students in most traditional high schools need to earn each year to stay on track for graduation — and it’s what participants in most of the dropout recovery programs in Duval County, Florida, earned over the past year.

In a Duval County School Board meeting on Tuesday, board chair Becki Couch said the district “should be appalled by these numbers," according to a report from WJCT

That’s a reaction that reflects a common misunderstanding of what dropout recovery is and what it can achieve.

Among the incredibly diverse population of young men and women who have left school without a diploma there are certainly some — though likely a very small number — who can recovery credits just as quickly as students who have never left school and always stayed on track for graduation. There are others, though, for whom even earning two credits per year would be a significant accomplishment.

Here’s why:

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Raising awareness is a key goal of making dropout recovery efforts public

About 350 volunteers went door to door in Des Moines this weekend to encourage students who have left school before graduation to return to their studies.

"Dropout recovery walks," such as the one held annually in Des Moines, don't usually result in large numbers of graduates. A similar effort in Las Vegas, a few years ago, targeted 289 at-risk teens who had dropped out of school — only 17 of whom returned to school and remained there six months later.

But that's not the point of these sorts of events – or, at least, it shouldn't be.

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Alma Powell reminds us not to forget the students who aren't graduating

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.

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Program has teens reach out to dropouts in New Mexico

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.

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SIATech and other school leaders sponsor Dropout Recovery Week legislation in California

A group of school leaders is sponsoring a Dropout Recovery Week Resolution in the California Legislature to help bring awareness to the issues surrounding the dropout epidemic.

The legislation, sponsored by the School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech) and several other school groups and districts, comes after the 2014 Building a Grad Nation report emphasized that the nation will not reach its graduation goals without increasing graduation rates for Latino and African-American students in California.

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Graduation Alliance CEO: Acquiring ConnectEDU will help us reach even more students

Students who have not yet reached their goal of getting to graduation and reaching onward to college and career training have just gotten a big hand up.

On Thursday, Graduation Alliance acquired ConnectEDU, a Boston-based company that specializes in providing technology solutions that help students who are not on a college or career preparatory track. ConnectEDU has a rich history of providing online college and career planning technologies to help students discover opportunities aligned to their personal and professional goals, and of supporting individualized pathways for keeping each student on track toward the achievement of those goals.

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Report highlights ways to help young black men succeed academically

A new report highlights how schools can best use their out-of-school time to serve black male students.

The report, called “Building Bridges: Connecting Out-of-School Time to Classroom Success Among School-Age Black Males in the District Of Columbia” was commissioned by the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp.

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California program Gateway to College helps students graduate

A young Californian woman has gone from being a dropout to earning a 4.0, thanks to a program called Gateway to College.

Jessica Zambrano, 17, was forced into a parenting role for her younger siblings while she was still in elementary school due to the hospitalization of her mother.

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A Pennsylvania native pursues her dream and earns her diploma at age 92

A 92-year-old woman has made her dream of being a high school graduate a reality.

Ruth Brown Ross walked the stage at Pennsylvania's Beth-Center High School after she completed her senior project, which detailed the hardships of growing up in the Great Depression, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Ross dropped out when she was 16 to marry her husband of 66 years. However, as she was being checked into a hospital after a fall, the nurses labeled her a dropout when taking her educational history.

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Demonstrators set up empty desks outside of L.A.'s school district headquarters

Demonstrators made a big statement in L.A. Tuesday as they set up 375 neatly aligned school desks on the street in front of the Los Angeles Unified School District's headquarters.

The empty chairs represented the number of students who dropped out of the district each week in the 2011-2012 school year. That amounted to 8,748 students that year, according to the L.A. Times.

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