identity and involvement

Free webinar Thursday addresses body-image bullying

Are you a teacher or administrator who has students being bullied because of body image?

A free webinar hosted by Graduation Alliance, which sponsors this blog, is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, April 24 at 1 p.m. Pacific/ 4 p.m. Eastern with Utah State University's Dr. Maya Miyairi.

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Usher joins as producer for the documentary "Undroppable"

The documentary about the dropout epidemic just got some big star power behind it.

Multi-Grammy-winning musician Usher will serve as an executive producer for Jason Pollock's film "Undroppable," the St. Louis American reported.

Justin Beiber’s manager Scooter Braun brought Usher to the film as he will be one of the film's five producers.

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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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Contest asks youths to share their education stories through hip-hop, spoken word entries

A new youth hip-hop and spoken word contest and radio special launched today to help students share their educational stories.

The group Youth Speaks is running the "Raise Up" contest, where students can submit entries through June 30. Those entries will be judged by celebrities such as Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and actress Rosario Dawson. The winners will perform at the Kennedy Center.

The contest is part of American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a public media effort supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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California legislation would increase tracking of truant students

A bill in California's Legislature is aimed at reducing the dropout rate by bringing down truancy numbers.

About 1 million students were truant in the 2012-2013 school year, and that ended up costing school districts $1.4 billion in funding based on attendance.

A report by Attorney General Kamala Harris called "In School and On Track" stated that 30 percent of California's elementary students skip enough school to hurt their academic performance.

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Study shows that addressing issues outside the classroom can help students succeed academically

A new study shows that it truly does take a village to raise an academically successful child.

Kristin Anderson Moore of Child Trends found in her study, “Making The Grade: Assessing the Evidence for Integrated Student Supports,” that Integrated Student Supports, sometimes called Integrated Student Services, are helping students overcome the obstacles in their daily lives, which in turn helps them achieve academically.

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Opportunity Finance Network pledges $1 billion to Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative

A group of financial institutions is coming together to provide $1 billion to President Barack Obama's "My Brother's Keeper" program to help young black and Hispanic men stay in school and out of the criminal justice system.

The Opportunity Finance Network will ask for pledges from each of its more than 225 community development financial institutions, and leaders believe that will be $1 billion, according to a Washington Post article.

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Webinar to help educators use the Common Core to reach at-risk students

Common Core State Standards have been controversial throughout the country.

But they can be downright intimidating for teachers who are working with students who are at-risk of dropping out.

The Reaching At-Promise Students Association is hoping to quell any fear by hosting a collabinar looking at how to individualize instruction for students using Common Core standards.

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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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