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At-Risk (incl. Dropout Prevention)Selected Research & Readings
 
  AT-RISK (INCL. DROPOUT PREVENTION)
 
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At-Risk (incl. Dropout Prevention)--Drugs/Alcohol
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Early Warning Indicator Systems PDF - Boosting high school graduation rates is a growing concern to educators and policymakers. Research shows that students who fail to graduate high school exhibit clear signs of dropping out. Access to student data has prompted state and school district officials across the country to develop "early warning indicator systems" to efficiently identify students who are at risk of dropping out and provide targeted supports to get them back on track and graduate. This Statenote highlights the statewide early warning indicator systems in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Alabama and the Philadelphia Public Schools district-wide system. (ECS 2011) ...

How Thinking in Pictures Provides Perspective - Hear what Temple Grandin had to say at the 2011 ECS National Forum on Education Policy about what matters most to helping all kids succeed....

Student Mobility: Does it affect educational outcomes? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

Beyond the GED: State Strategies to Help Former Dropouts Earn a High School Diploma MS Word PDF - Seventy-four percent of the high school dropouts age 16-25 report that, if they could do it all over again, they would have stayed in school. This ECS Policy Brief provides information on various state policy components that can facilitate former dropouts’ ability to earn a high school diploma. The brief also addresses finance elements state policymakers must consider when developing new education options. (Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, August 2008)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Student Engagement - This issue of the Progress of Education Reform features highlights of K-12 research on student engagement, a civic orientation and building resiliency. Taken together, they provide a useful, up-to-date look at evidence on the merits of engaging students for achievement and success. It also includes policy implications based on the research, as well as links to studies and resources on student engagement in higher education. (Education Commission of the States, October 2007) ...

The Progress of Education Reform 2007: Dropout Prevention PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform summarizes the findings of five recent studies that address:

  • Early predictors for dropping out of school
  • 9th-grade predictors of risk in an urban environment
  • School characteristics linked to higher graduation rates
  • Economic benefits of several programs that positively influence high school completion rates
  • A synthesis of the research on dropping out and the importance of state data systems to support dropout prevention efforts.
(Jennifer Dounay, Education Commission of the States, August 2007)...

Dropouts: Why do students drop out of school and what might help them to stay? - Access related research titles from the ECS Research Studies Database. Links embedded in titles will take you to each study's major findings and recommendations....

National College Progression Rates: For High Schools Participating in the National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker Service - School poverty continues to be the strongest indicator of college enrollment, according to a second annual national report. College enrollment rates in the first fall after graduation was 47 - 58 for students from low income public high schools, and 73 percent for students from higher income, low minority suburban schools. Once income was controlled for, there was no difference between urban, suburban and rural high minority schools. (National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, October 2014)...

Decreasing Dropout Rates for Minority Male Youth with Disabilities from Culturally and Ethnically Diverse Backrounds - Although graduation rates have improved for students of color and students with disabilities, more work needs to be done. This monograph explores the problems of high school dropout rates among American Indian, African American, and Latino males with disabilities. Crucial changes that must be made are offered, including an infusion of cultural competence into all aspects of education.(Susan Faircloth, Ivory Toldson and Robert Lucio, Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities, September 2014)...

Expanding Summer Employment Opportunities for Low-Income Youth Proposal 5 - Work-related summer activities could foster skill development, education and economic success of low-income youth aged 16 to 19, argues this proposal. As part of a broader strategy to relieve poverty, the federal government should make grants to state and local governments to work with local community-based organizations to expand summer job programs.(Amy Ellen Schwartz and Jacob Leos-Urbel, The Hamilton Project at Brookings, June 2014)...

Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage: Early Childhood Interventions and Progression to Higher Education in Europe - Rapid brain development in the early years presents both challenges and opportunities to invest in children, especially those from poorer backrounds, to develop both academic and social-behavioral skills for long-term returns. Levels of early childhood education and care are uneven across Europe, but one way to break the cycle of poverty would be to develop ambitious indicators and policy goals linking early care and education for underrepresented groups to access to higher education. (Benoit Guerin, Rand Europe, June 2014)...

Safely Home: Reducing Youth Incarceration and Achieving Positive Outcomes for High and Complex Need Youth through Effective Community-Based Programs - Anything that can be done in a corrections facility for youth can be done better and cheaper in a community, argues this report. Youth prisons only make factors that contributed to juvenile incarceration worse. What's needed is a community-based continuum of services, including services for kids with complex, intense needs. The report offers elements and examples of effective community-based programs, and recommendations for Congress, states and localities and for advocates. (Shaena M. Fazal, Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., June 2014) ...

Don't Call Them Dropouts: Understanding the Experiences of Young People Who Leave High School Before Graduation - Young people don’t stop going to school for a single reason; it’s a cluster that becomes too much: care giving for siblings or parents, bouncing around in foster care, homelessness. Interviews and survey responses of youth who quit, reengaged, or were in school continuously also indicate navigating hostile toxic environments at home, school, or in their neighborhoods is a threat to school, that youth seek relationships that can lead them to or away from graduation, that they are resilient but need help. (America's Promise Alliance and Center for Promise, May 2014)...

WWC Review of the Report "Staying on Track: Testing Higher Achievement's Long-Term Impact on Academic Outcomes and High School Choice" - A report on the Higher Achievement program was reviewed and found to be well-executed. Higher Achievement is a multi-year summer and after-school program for incoming fifth and sixth graders in at-risk communities. Higher Achievements academies feature, variously, academic classes, electives, field trips, volunteer mentors, homework help and dinner. The report found that four years later, participants had higher standardized test scores in mathematical problem solving and were more likely to be admitted to and matriculate at private high schools. (What Works Clearinghouse, April 2014)...

Dropout Prevention - See the Institute for Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) for recommendations on dropout prevention. The WWC reviews the research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. Then, by focusing on the results from high-quality research, they try to answer the question “What works in education?” The goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. (WWC, September 2013)...

Just the Right Mix: Using an Early Warning Approach to Identify Potential Dropouts Across All Grades - Researchers applied longitudinal data from Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools to identify early warning indicators (EWIs) across all grades–even the early grades–for dropping out. Using attendance, behavior, and course performance patterns, they looked at grades 1, 3, 6, and 9 and identified EWIs. In attendance, the telling sign was absence nine or more times for first graders, three or more times for grades 3, 6, and 9. Suspension at grades 1, 3, 6, and 9 in or out of school one or more times doubled the odds of dropping out of high school. Being below grade level in reading and/or mathematics also doubled chances of dropping out. (Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, July 2013)...

Using Early Warning Data to Keep Students on Track toward College and Careers - Early warning systems (EWS) will be helpful in alerting teachers, parents, and students that a youth is veering off the path to college- and career-readiness. According to this release, state policymakers can take action now to encourage the use of EWS, support the development of research-based warning indicators, ensure that early warning data are timely, and establish a culture in which stakeholders have timely access to early warning data. States are in various stages of building capacity to develop and implement EWS; a map is provided to see what different states are doing. (Data Quality Campaign, June 2013)...

Connecting At-Risk Youth to Promising Occupations - Mathematica researchers first identified four features for job consideration: median earnings level, education and training requisites, projected growth in labor-market demand, and potential for individual advancement. Using various measures, they came up with a minimum salary of $25,000. They looked for jobs requiring only brief training, apprenticeship, or education up to an associate’s degree. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they searched out fields that forecasters predicted would have “faster than average” or “much faster than average” growth between 2010 and 2020. Finally, they wanted fields in which employees could advance with additional education, training or work experience. They chose health care and construction. Take a look at the two charts on each field with occupations, annual median projected growth, education requirements, and work experience/on-the-job training requirements. (M.C. Bradley, Jiffy Lansing and Matthew Stagner, Mathematica, January 2013)...

One in Seven: Ranking Youth Disconnection in the 25 Largest Metro Areas - This brief ranks the country’s 25 largest metropolitan areas as well as the nation’s largest racial and ethnic groups in terms of youth disconnection (neither working nor in school). The report concludes with a set of recommendations for preventing youth disconnection, including moving beyond the “college-for-all” mantra to provide meaningful support and guidance both to young people aiming for a four-year bachelor’s degree and to those whose interests and career aspirations would be better served by relevant, high-quality career and technical education certificates and associate’s degrees. (Measure of America, September 2012)...

Staying in School: A Proposal to Raise High School Graduation Rates - This paper presents a plan to increase the high school graduation rate. A key element of the proposal is for all states to increase their minimum school-leaving age to eighteen. The proposal also calls for more resources for enforcement of compulsory-schooling laws. The authors assert that if states invest in effective support programs they can further increase graduation rates and reduce future costs of enforcing compulsory-schooling policies. (Hamilton Project, September 2012)...

Building and Sustaining Talent: Creating Conditions in High-Poverty Schools That Support Effective Teaching and Learning - This paper examines teacher recruitment and retention in hard to staff schools. The authors offer examples of how some schools and districts are making high-poverty, low-performing schools satisfying, attractive places to work. (The Education Trust, June 2012)...

Title IX: A Pregnancy Test for Schools: The Impact of Education Laws on Pregnant and Parenting Students - This report outlines the ways that federal, state, and local laws, policies, and programs can change the landscape for pregnant and parenting students and ranks how well the state laws and policies address the needs of these students. The report describes the particular challenges faced by pregnant and parenting students, highlights the requirements of federal laws, reviews relevant state laws and policies (both promising and lacking), and concludes with recommendations for both policymakers and for schools. (National Women's Law Center, June 2012)...

Using American Community Survey Data to Expand Access to the School Meals Program: Panel on Estimating Children Eligible for School Nutrition Programs Using the American Com - This is a brief summary of a larger report presenting a panel's analysis, findings and recommendations on how to determine, on an annual basis, the number of students eligible for free and reduced lunches and USDA reimbursements to districts. A panel of experts investigated the technical and operational feasibility of using data from the continuous American Community Survey (ACS) to estimate students eligible for free and reduced-price meals for schools and school districts. The panel presents a new ACS Eligibility Option (AEO) and recommendations for implementation of the AEO, as well as ways to improve the accuracy of ACS estimates of eligibility for the school meals programs. If implemented, the authors posit that the AEO would provide an opportunity to expand access to free meals for the nation's schoolchildren and reduce administrative burden on schools and families. (National Academies Press, May 2012)...

Using the freshman on-track indicator to predict graduation in two urban districts in the Midwest Region - This report examines how well the freshman on-track indicator developed by the Consortium on Chicago School Research predicts on-time graduation in two urban districts in the Midwest Region. This indicator classifies students at the end of the first year of high school as on-track or off-track to graduate based on grade 9 course credits earned and failures. The authors found that on-track status was a significant predictor of on-time graduation, even after controlling for student background characteristics and grade 8 achievement test scores. (Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, April 2012)...

Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children - This paper examines the reasons why poor children are less ready for school at age five than other children and evaluates three interventions for improving their social readiness including: preschool programs; smoking cessation programs for pregnant mothers, and; nurse home visiting programs. The authors find that, of the three interventions they considered, preschool programs offer the most promise for increasing children’s school readiness. (Center on Children and Families at Brookings, March 2012)...

On Track for Success: The Use of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems to Build a Grad Nation - This report represents the first national assessment of Early Warning Indicator and Intervention Systems (EWS) at the district, state, and national levels. It shares evidence from the latest research and best practices from the field so that parents, educators, administrators, business leaders, and legislators can be better equipped to keep children on track to graduate high school, be prepared for college and career success. (Civic Enterprises & Everyone Graduates Center, 2011)...

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972-2009 (Compendium Report) - This report builds upon a series of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. It presents estimates of rates in 2009, provides data about trends in dropout and completion rates over the last nearly four decades (1972–2009),5 and examines the characteristics of high school dropouts and high school completers in 2009. (National Center for Education Statistics, October 2011)...

Dropout Prevention Services and Programs in Public School Districts: 2010-11 - This report provides national estimates about dropout prevention services and programs in public school districts. The estimates presented in this report are based on a district survey about dropout prevention services and programs offered by the district or by any of the schools in the district during the 2010-11 school year. (NCES, September 2011)...

State Policies to Reengage Dropouts - Each year, 390,000 young drop out of school. Reengaging dropouts is challenging for school systems for three reasons: (1) Information is limited on who has dropped out and where why can be located; (2) traditional comprehensive high schools are not well equipped to serve students who are returned to complete a degree; and (3) recovering youth who have dropped out can be expensive and time consuming. (NGA Center for Best Practices, July 2011)...

Staying on Course: Three Year Results of the National Guard Youth Challenge Evaluation - This report presents results from a rigorous evaluation of the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, an intensive residential program that aims to "reclaim the lives of at-risk youth" who have dropped out of school. Program participants were found to be much more likely than those in the control group to have obtained a GED certificate or a high school diploma and to have earned college credits. Program participants were also more likely to be employed at the time of the survey, and earned about 20 percent more than their control group counterparts in the year before the survey. Program benefits, however, did not appear to continue after participants left the program. (MDRC, June 2011)...

How Do Some Students Overcome Their Socio-Economic Background? - So what helps some students to overcome their social background and achieve high scores in school? One key ingredient associated with resilience is spending more time in class. (OECD, June 2011)...

Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - This report takes a critical look at the efforts that have made improvements in graduation rates, and those that have failed to do so, in our communities. While the results of the past decade have been mixed, with progress in some areas, and limited improvement in others, these efforts have laid the groundwork for more rapid and systemic progress in the next decade. (Civic Enterprises and America's Promise Alliance, December 2010)...

K-12 Education: Many Challenges Arise in Educating Students Who Change Schools Frequently - To inform ESEA reauthorization, the GAO was asked to find out the numbers and characteristics of students who change schools and the reasons they change schools. They were also asked to research how mobility affected student outcomes, the challenges student mobility presents for schools and which federal programs schools use to address the needs of mobile students. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, November 2010)...

High School Dropouts in America - Nationwide, about 7,000 students drop out every school day. This statistic may not have been noticed 50 years ago, but the era during which a high school dropout could earn a living wage has ended in the United States. By dropping out, these individuals significantly diminish their chances to secure a good job and a promising future. Moreover, each class of dropouts is responsible for substantial financial and social costs to their communities, states, and country in which they live. (Alliance for Excellent Education, Updated September 2010)...

The Worst of Times: Children in Extreme Poverty in the South and Nation - This report analyzes the latest census data on children in extreme poverty. It finds that in 2008, more than 5.7 million children in the U.S. lived in extreme poverty (in a household with an income below 50% of the federal poverty line), and 2.4 million of those children (42% of all children in extreme poverty) lived in the South. A four-page Special Summary of the report is also available. (Southern Education Foundation, June 2010)...

Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences - This study is the first to highlight the relationship between poverty status at birth and children's poverty persistence and subsequent adult outcomes. Understanding the link between poverty status at birth and future outcomes provides important program and policy implications. (Carolina Ratcliffe and Signe-Mary McKernan, The Urban Institute, June 2010)...

Pregnant Teen Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment: 1992 and 2007 - The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) can be used to examine the characteristics and substance use behaviors of pregnant teens in substance abuse treatment. This report examines female admissions aged 13 to 19 who were pregnant at the time of admission in 1992 and 2007. (Treatment Episode Data Set, March 18, 2010)...

Alternative Schools and Programs for Public School Students At Risk of Educational Failure: 2007-08--First Look - This report presents data from a recent survey about alternative schools and programs available to students during the 2007-08 school year. Alternative schools and programs are specifically designed to address the educational needs of students at risk of school failure in a setting apart from that of the regular public school. They can be administered by the district or an entity other than the district. The study includes information on the availability and number of alternative schools and programs, the number of students enrolled in alternative schools and program, and district policy on returning students to a regular school. (Priscilla Rouse Carver and Peter Tice, National Center for Education Statistics, March 2010)...

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds - Temple Grandin speaks about better serving kids with autism or autism spectrum disabilities and about better serving the "smart, geeky" kids who tend to be overlooked but who have enormous potential for creating new technology and making important contributions to society during their lifetimes. (video)...

Prioritizing the Nation's Dropout Factories: The Need for Federal Policy That Targets the Lowest-Performing High Schools - Dropout factories are located in every state; in urban, suburban, rural and small-town America; in large high schools and small. The one unifying characteristic is that they disproportionately serve our nation's poor and minority students. In an era of diminishing financial resources it makes good sense to target these lowest-performing schools and focus attention, commitment and resources on improving or replacing them. (Tara Tucci, Alliance for Excellent Education, September 2009)...

High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools - August 2009 Update - Most high school dropouts see the results of their decision very clearly in the slimness of their wallets. The impact on the country's economy is less visible, but cumulatively its effect is staggering. If the students who dropped out of the Class of 2011 had graduated, the nation's economy would have benefited from nearly $154 billion in additional income over the course of their lifetimes. (Alliance for Excellent Education, November 2011)...

Raise the Age, Lower the Dropout Rate? Considerations for Policymakers - The policy brief focuses on this question: Is there empirical evidence to support raising compulsory school attendance age to 18 as a way of reducing the dropout rate? After reviewing research and analysis of state policies the authors conclude that raising the age alone is not an effective strategy. The authors argue that states should focus energy and resources on developing policies and programs that have shown to be successful and recommend policies to consider. (Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, April 2009)...

Portland Public Schools: From Data and Decisions to Implementation and Results on Dropout Prevention - In the course of a single calendar year (2007-08) Portland Public Schools began to have a positive impact in addressing its dropout problem. How? Middle school leaders provided detailed information on each struggling student. High school administrators used the data and other supports from the district to begin changing the behavior and the beliefs of the adults in their buildings against the odds. Students' performance on the critical dropout risk indicators improved in aggregate as more of them were supported in taking ownership of their learning and their future. These accomplishments send an important message to students, their parents and the community at large. (Daniel Stid, Kate O'Neill and Susan Colby, The Bridgespan Group, January 2009) ...


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