tiered intervention

Dropout recovery specialists gather to determine best practices and how to best measure success

Late last year, dozens of educational leaders from 12 states and Washington, D.C. gathered in San Diego to to learn from presenters and practitioners who serve re-engaged dropouts and other at-risk students to discuss how to best recover dropouts and which accountability policies are most appropriate.

The Alternative Accountability Policy Forum was hosted by the School for Integrated Academics and Technologies (SIATech) and the Reaching At-Promise Students Association (RAPSA).

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American Academy of Pediatrics encourages doctors to get involved in school suspension policies

Helping kids succeed in school is a community effort, from parents to teachers to mentors.

But the American Academy of Pediatrics has written a policy statement outlining how pediatricians should be involved.

The group looked specifically at the disciplinary measures of suspension and expulsion, which they say are rarely, if ever, needed.

“The indications and effectiveness of exclusionary discipline policies that demand automatic or rigorous application are increasingly questionable,” the policy states. “The impact of these policies on offenders, other children, school districts, and communities is broad.”

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Football coach in Washington, D.C. pushes her players to succeed off the field

Washington D.C’s Coolidge High School’s football coach is making waves — and not just because she may be the only female coach in the nation.

Natalie Randolph loves the game, but she loves watching her players succeed academically even more.

In a great piece that aired on PBSNewshour, Randolph talked strategy on getting her players to succeed on and off the field.

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Grandmother columnist in Reno calls on her readers to help kids graduate

PBS’ American Graduate program is continuing to catch the notice of viewers across the nation.

One person who is paying attention is Anne Pershing.

She’s a grandmother who writes the column “Grandma with Attitude” for the Reno Gazette-Journal, and she took time this week to tell her readers they can help regardless of their age.

John Ascuaga, a 88-year-old Sparks hotel and casino owner, has donated more than $625,000 in scholarships to help kids reach college.

Everyone, regardless of their income, can help in meaningful ways to keep kids on track to graduation.

“Other grandparents and seniors can also help by volunteering at the schools,” she wrote. “According to AARP, there are nearly 5 million children younger than 18 being raised by grandparents in this country.”

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Mississippi holding community celebrations to inform teens of importance of graduation

Educators, administrators and community members are kicking off a dropout prevention tour this week throughout Mississippi.

The state Department of  Education’s Office of Dropout Prevention and Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement will be visiting schools throughout Spring Break to have a community celebration, according to The Clarion Ledger.

The Go HARD Spring Break Tour is a youth-led movement that emphasizes the strengths of teens: Heart, Attitude, Resilience and Dedication. The movement focuses on supporting and encouraging middle and high school youth in the state to stay in school and graduate. The pilot program is starting with 13 districts across the state.

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Kentucky Legislature compromises on dropout age bill, but will it work?

Kentucky’s Legislature is moving forward with increasing the dropout age from 16 to 18.

However, a new draft of the bill, SB97, would make it voluntary for school districts to move the age up to 18. However, when 55 percent of Kentucky’s school districts opt to increase the age, the entire state will be forced to adopt the new policy, according to an article in the Courier-Journal.

The bill passed out of a House education committee and moves to the full House for voting. If it passes there, it will be sent back to the Senate so they can vote on the changes.

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South Carolina's bill proposing driver license suspension for dropouts won't fix the problem

A bill that would suspend driver’s licenses for teens who drop out has stalled in the South Carolina legislature.

The bill was voted 3-3 in a subcommittee, meaning it did not get a favorable recommendation. However, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Young, vows it will be seen before the full education committee, according to WSPA.

"It's a good idea because anything we can to incentivize a young person to stay in school and get a high school education is good for South Carolina, good for South Carolina taxpayers," Young said.

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BoostUp campaign reminds everyone that attendance is critical in dropout prevention

Late in February, the U.S. Army, the Ad Council, and the BoostUp campaign launched a nationwide Day of Action to help people understand the importance of attendance.

But it’s important to continue the conversation about showing up, which proves to be more than half the battle in making a student’s way to graduation.

Here are some facts about attendance from the National Council of La Raza’s blog:

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States look at leaving GED behind due to rising costs

For the first time in its 70-year history, states are looking at whether they should drop the GED and find better alternatives for dropouts and adult students to earn a diploma.

The Wall Street Journal reports that as the GED is being overhauled — mainly as the nonprofit American Council on Education has partnered with the for-profit publisher Pearson PLC — the cost has gone up to $120 a student. States, especially those that subsidize that cost, are looking for cheaper alternatives.

"This is a huge transition," said Marque Haeg, Oregon's GED administrator. "For most jobs here in Oregon, you have to have a GED, and that includes everything from McDonald's to little mom-and-pop shops."

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New $15 million federal program to help reduce dropout rates with AmeriCorps helps

Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced a new initiative to help low-performing schools increase their graduation rates.

The federal government will give $15 million to fund the three-year program called the School Turnaround AmeriCorps, which would send 650 members to about 60 schools that aren’t graduating enough of their students, according to an Associate Press article in The Mercury.

Schools will compete for the grants, which are funded through the Education Department and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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