Christian Life Commission February 2, 2010 The Dropout Problem What Can Be Done?
Why should we be concerned? • The consequences of dropping out are severe both for the individual and society. Dropping out often triggers: • Unemployment • Poverty • Living on public assistance • Poor health • Incarceration • Having children who drop out
Why should we be concerned? DROPOUTS ARE: Twice as likely to as high school graduates to slip into poverty • Three times more likely to be unemployed that college graduates • Eight times as likely to be in jail • Less likely to enjoy the rewards of a productive career. College graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetime than do dropouts
Why should we be concerned? • There are costs to society as well as costs to the individual. • If our dropout rate remains the same for the next 10 years, the result will be a loss to the nation of $3 trillion due to: • Lost productivity • Lost contributions to the tax base • Increased cost for social services
Dropping out is not just an issue for poor urban or rural schools. 20 percent of all students drop out—40 percent of students in the nation’s lowest socioeconomic group, but also 10 percent of youth from families in the highest two socioeconomic groups. • Socioeconomic status, not ethnicity, is the key indicator for dropping out. The dropout problem affects African-American and Hispanic students more than others because they are more represented in the lower socio-economic groups.
Dropouts – who are they? • There is no “typical dropout” although some populations are overrepresented • Graduation is related to a student’s gender, ethnicity, and economic status. HOWEVER all of these factors together account for only about 12 percent of the dropout phenomenon. • The factors that make a huge difference in whether an individual drops out are within our power to change
Why Do Students Drop Out? • Personal risk factors—substance abuse, pregnancy, legal problems, working more than 14-20 hours per week. • School risk factors—truancy, absenteeism, tardiness, suspension, and disciplinary infractions. • Family factors—unstable home life, socioeconomic status, siblings’ completion of high school, single-parent households, parental education background, primary language spoken in the home. (Woods 1995)
What Do Students say about why they drop out? • Classes were not interesting (47 percent) • Missed too many days and could not catch up (43 percent) • Spent time with people who were not interested in school (42 percent) • Had too much freedom and not enough rules (38 percent) • Was failing in school (35 percent) (Bridgeland, Dilulio, & Morrison 2006)
Encouraging News • 21 states report using the NGA compact graduation rate definition. Of the 16 that publicly reported their graduation rate for 2008, Texas ranked fourth behind only Iowa, Vermont and Virginia. Texas ranked ahead of states such as Michigan, Florida, Rhode Island, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, and New Mexico among others.!
Encouraging News • Eighth-grade African-American students in Texas tied Massachusetts for first place on the NAEP mathematics exam.! • • Among white students, Texasʼ eighth-grade students earned the fourth highest score on the NAEP math exam.! • • Among Hispanic students, Texasʼ eighth-graders had the fourth highest score on the NAEP math exam. !
Encouraging News • • Overall, Texas ranked 18th among 50 states on eighth-grade NAEP math exam.! • • African-American fourth-grade students in Texas earned the third highest score on NAEP math. ! • • Texasʼ white fourth-graders tied for fifth place with North Carolina on NAEP math. ! • • Hispanic students in Texas ranked eighth nationwide.!
Encouraging Research • Research shows that schools can predict who will drop out with a high degree of accuracy. • By 9th grade, dropouts can be predicted with 85% accuracy.
Research • By the end of the Fall semester of the Freshman year, we can identify who will dropout with just two numbers: • It is Not • IQ • Family income • 8th grade achievement tests • Not zip code
Research • Two key numbers • Number of days absent in the first 100 days • Number of courses failed in the first 100 days
ResearchAbsences • Nearly 90% of freshmen who miss less than five days of school that Fall, will GRADUATE, regardless of their 8th grade achievement scores. • Students who entered high school with very low 8th grade achievement scores but who miss less than one week of school failed fewer courses than students who entered high school with very high achievement scores who missed one additional week of classes.
Research Absences • Attendance is a problem even among many high achieving students. About half of the highest achieving students entering high school with test scores in the top quartile missed more than a week of class
ResearchCourse Failures • A student with no more than one failure in a core course per semester by end of Freshman year was nearly four times more likely to graduate. • Almost 100% of all students with a B average or higher at the end of their Freshman year graduate within four years.
ResearchCourse Failures • Failure to pass a course is often evident by the end of the 6th week of the semester.
Promising Practices E arly warning system A dvocate S ervices – academic and social waY back in
Early Warning System • National High School Center has created a simple electronic spreadsheet that will allow a school to download attendance and interim period grades by student. It will automatically flag those that are off-track for graduation.
Adult Advocate • Institute for Education Sciences USDE recommends assigning an adult advocate to students at risk of dropping out. • Studies show such students earn more credits, are absent less, and have better grades.
Intervention Services • Academic • Tutoring • Study skills development • Social • Counseling • Health services • Assistance with basic needs
A Way Back In • Opportunities to re-enter the education system that are: • Flexible • Offer acceleration opportunities • Intensive academic and social services as needed
Texas Education Agency Dropout Prevention Initiatives Strategic efforts toward graduating more students, better prepared for college
High School Allotment College Readiness House Bill 1 Initiatives80th Legislature (2006)
High School Allotment $300,000,000 annually Funds may be used to implement: • college readiness programs to prepare underachieving students for college • programs that encourage students toward advanced academics opportunities • programs that give students opportunities to take academically rigorous coursework …
High School Allotment …(continued): • Programs that align the curriculumfor grades 6-12 with post secondary curriculum • Other high school completion and success initiatives in grades 6-12
What are Some Examples of How Districts are Using the Funds? • Tutoring and academic support • Newcomer Academies for Limited English Proficient students • Summer programs for struggling students • “Fish” programs for freshman students • Professional development for teachers • Stipends for mentor teachers • Incentives to recruit and retain math and science teachers • Incentives to recruit and retain teachers at hard-to- staff schools
Federal Dropout Initiatives • Communities In Schools • 21st Century Community Learning Centers • Life Skills Grant
Communities In Schools • Nonprofit community organizations providing year round social services to at-risk students in partnership with the local school system • Places a case manager on each campus served. • Receives legislative funds and leverages additional resources and funding from other sources
Communities In Schools - How We Work CIS Enlists and Facilitates Partnerships Student Outcomes Business Improved Attendance Health Services + EnrichmentOpportunities Improved Learning + Human Services Improved Behavior Employment Services = Juvenile Justice Higher Stay-in-School/ Graduation Rates Mentors/Tutors CIS Makes a Difference! Services Repositioned Source: CIS National 2003
Communities In SchoolsProgram Components Supportive Guidance/Counseling Health & Human Services Parental Involvement Career Awareness/Employment Enrichment Activities Educational Enhancement Source: CIS of Texas 2004
CIS of Texas Program Facts Communities In Schools • Over 100 ISDs served • 665 schools/campuses/projects received CIS services • 75,893 students served • 2,291 partners, providers and agencies worked with programs. • 9,650 volunteers
Communities In Schools – Results! • 97% of CIS case managed students stayed in school. • 84% improved in academics. • 74% improved in attendance. • 90% improved in behavior.
21st Century Community Learning Centers • Community learning centers provide students with after-school academic enrichment opportunities with activities designed to complement the student’s regular program • 590 centers • 728 participating schools
Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers • Programs may use the funds to carry out a broad array of before- and after-school activities achievement. These activities include, among others: • Remedial education activities and academic enrichment learning programs, including tutoring services;
Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers • Mathematics and science education activities; • Arts and music education activities; • Activities for limited English proficient (LEP) students that emphasize language skills and academic achievement; • Recreational activities;
Texas 21st Century Community Learning Centers • Programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy; • Drug and violence prevention programs; and • Character education programs.
Life Skills Grant for Student Parents The mission: to enable school-age parents, through education, to become self-sufficient, responsible, job-oriented citizens. The goal: to reduce the number of students who dropout due to pregnancy and/or parenthood, and to recover these students to the educational system. Did you know: most students who do not complete high school have at least one parent who is a dropout
HB 2237 – 80th Legislature (2007) Created a number of programs: one category was designed to prevent students from dropping out of high schools and a second category of programs was designed to prepare high school students for college. Funded by Rider 53a and 53b. Approximately $25 million for each category. Reserved for districts that exhibited during each of the three preceding school years characteristics that strongly correlate with high dropout rates.
Collaborative Dropout Prevention Pilot Program • Designed to encourage community organizations to collaborate to address and reduce the local dropout rate • Funds are used to encourage local businesses, local governments or law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations, and institutions of higher education to work together with their school district to deliver proven, research-based intervention services
Collaborative Pilot Program Features: • Encourages local businesses and other employers to offer internships, employment, and advanced vocational training • Encourages the coordination of community services and resources to address the local dropout rate • Encourages employers to provide paid time off for parents to volunteer in school, and to provide incentives for employees to engage in mentoring and other school-related activities • Provides for electronic course delivery and encourages innovative instructional techniques
Intensive Summer Programs – two types High School – a program administered by a school district in partnership with an institution of higher education to provide intensive academic instruction in English language arts, mathematics, and science to promote high school completion and college readiness.
Intensive Summer Programs Middle School - a program administered by a school district in partnership with an institution of higher education to provide intensive academic instruction in reading and mathematics to students in grades six through eight to promote high school completion and college readiness.
Intensive Summer Programs Programs must: • provide rigorous academic instruction; • provide at least four weeks of instruction; and, • create work-study opportunities for students enrolled in teacher preparation programs to assist in providing instruction in programs described by this section.
Ninth Grade Transition & Intervention • Component One: summer programs designed to provide graduating 8th graders with the academic and social skills needed to successfully transition from middle school to high school. • Component Two: an early warning system to identify those students who are likely not to graduate
Ninth Grade Transition & Intervention • Component Three: intervention services for students identified as off-track such as tutoring, mentoring, counseling, social services.