Tag Archives: Alliance for Excellent Education

The Alliance for Excellent Education report: Teacher turnover high in low income schools

24 Jul

Melanie Smollin has an excellent post at Take Part, Five Reasons Why Teacher Turnover Is On The Rise:

With approximately 1.6 million teachers set to retire in the next decade, replenishing America’s teaching force should be a top priority. But filling classrooms with new teachers is only half the battle. Retaining them is equally important.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of American teachers leave after only one year, and 46 percent quit before their fifth year. In countries with the highest results on international tests, teacher turnover rates are much lower—around 3 percent.
This constant cycling in and out of new teachers is a costly phenomena. Students miss being taught by experienced educators, and schools and districts nationwide spend about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements.
Why are so many new teachers fleeing the profession after so few years in the classroom? Here are the top five reasons teacher turnover is an ongoing challenge:
5. BURNOUT: A recent U.C. Berkeley study of Los Angeles charter schools found unusually high rates of teacher turnover. At the 163 charter schools studied, teacher turnover hovered around 40 percent, compared to 15 percent at traditional public schools.
Since demands on charter school educators are seemingly boundless, including extended hours, researchers theorized, burnout is a viable explanation for the teacher exodus. “We have seen earlier results showing that working conditions are tough and challenging in charter schools,” explained U.C. Berkeley’s Bruce Fuller. “Charter teachers wear many hats and have many duties and are teaching urban kids, challenging urban kids, but we were surprised by the magnitude of this effect.”
4.THREAT OF LAYOFFS: In response to annual budget shortfalls, districts nationwide have sent pink slips to tens of thousands of teachers each spring for the past four years. In 2011, California sent out 30,000….
3. LOW WAGES: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently said that teachers should earn between $60,000 and $150,000 per year. That’s a far cry from the current national average starting salary for teachers, which is $35,139….
2. TESTING PRESSURE: Since the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, standardized test scores in math and reading have become the most important accountability measure used to evaluate schools.
Studies show that pressure to raise student test scores causes teachers to experience more stress and less job satisfaction. Many educators resent narrowing curriculum and stifling creativity in favor of teaching to the test.
On the National Center for Education Information’s “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” the majority of comments submitted by survey respondents were “expressions of strong opposition to the current emphasis on student testing.”
As states increasingly rely on standardized test scores to evaluate individual educators, determine teacher pay and make lay-off decisions, testing pressure will only increase.
1. POOR WORKING CONDITIONS: When the Gates foundation polled 40,000 teachers about job satisfaction, the majority agreed that supportive leadership, time for collaboration, access to high quality curriculum and resources, clean and safe buildings, and relevant professional development were even more important than higher salaries.
But working conditions in many public schools remain far from this ideal—especially for beginning teachers, who are most likely to be assigned to the highest-need schools. Despite the added challenges they face, these teachers are often given few resources and little professional support. http://www.takepart.com/article/2011/08/09/five-reasons-teacher-turnover-rise

Since many teachers will be leaving the profession in the next few years, the question is what effect teacher departures have on students and are there traits of teachers who choose to remain in the classroom which should be studied.

Alexandria Neason of Hechinger Report wrote in the Huffington Post article, Half Of Teachers Leave The Job After Five Years. Here’s What To Do About It:

A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for new educators, found that about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year, costing states up to $2 billion. Researchers estimate that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, and between 40 and 50 percent quit within five years.
A new report, published by the Alliance in collaboration with the New Teacher Center (NTC), a non-profit that helps schools and policymakers develop training for new educators, found that about 13 percent of the nation’s 3.4 million teachers move schools or leave the profession every year, costing states up to $2 billion. Researchers estimate that over 1 million teachers move in and out of schools annually, and between 40 and 50 percent quit within five years.
The high turnover rates are sometimes due to layoffs, “but the primary reason they leave is because they’re dissatisfied,” said Richard Ingersoll, an education professor at the University of Pennsylvania whose research on teacher retention was published in the report. Teachers say they leave because of inadequate administrative support and isolated working conditions, among other things. These losses disproportionately affect high-poverty, urban and rural schools, where teaching staffs often lack experience.
A Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR) report found that schools serving low-income, minority students turn over half of their staffs every three years, deepening the divide between poor and wealthy students to the most experienced teachers.
But the new report says poor retention isn’t a commitment problem. It’s a support problem… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/teacher-turnover-rate_n_5614972.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education#es_share_ended

Here is the press release from The Alliance for Excellent Education:

July 17, 2014
Press Release:
Teacher Attrition Costs United States Up to $2.2 Billion Annually, Says New Alliance Report
Report Includes State-by-State Teacher Attrition Costs, Says Comprehensive Induction Programs Can Improve Teaching Effectiveness and Retain High-Quality Teachers
WASHINGTON, DC – Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year—attrition that costs the United States up to $2.2 billion annually, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education. This high turnover rate disproportionately affects high-poverty schools and seriously compromises the nation’s capacity to ensure that all students have access to skilled teaching, says On the Path to Equity: Improving the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers.
“Teacher attrition hits states and school districts in the wallet, but students and teachers pay the real price,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “The monetary cost of teacher attrition pales in comparison to the loss of human potential associated with hard-to-staff schools that disproportionately serve low-income students and students of color. In these schools, poor learning climates and low achievement often result in students—and teachers—leaving in droves.”
The report cites the well-established principle that teaching quality is the most powerful school-based factor in student learning—one that outweighs students’ social and economic background in accounting for differences in student learning. It also notes that chronic gaps remain in disadvantaged students’ access to effective teaching—a scenario that unmistakably harms students, but also has an impact on teachers.
Without access to excellent peers, mentors, and opportunities for collaboration and feedback, teachers’ performance in high-poverty schools plateaus after a few years and both morale and work environment suffer. Ultimately, the report notes, these hard-to-staff schools become known as “places to leave, not places in which to stay.” According to the report, high-poverty schools experience a teacher turnover rate of about 20 percent per calendar year—roughly 50 percent higher than the rate in more affluent schools.
To calculate the cost of teacher attrition, the Alliance worked with Richard Ingersoll, professor of education and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to the national figure, Ingersoll also provides cost estimates for all fifty states and the District of Columbia that range between roughly $2 million in Delaware, Vermont, and Wyoming and up to $235 million in Texas.
Teachers leave their profession for a variety of reasons, including inadequate administrative support, isolated working conditions, poor student discipline, low salaries, and a lack of collective teacher influence over schoolwide decisions. Turnover is especially high among new teachers, with 40 to 50 percent leaving the profession after five years, according to research cited in the report.
To curb turnover—especially among new teachers—the report recommends a comprehensive induction program comprised of multiple types of support, including high-quality mentoring, common planning times, and ongoing support from school leaders. Teachers who receive such support have higher levels of job satisfaction, rate higher in their classroom teaching practices, and are associated with higher levels of student achievement. Unfortunately, only about half of novice teachers receive mentoring from a teacher in their teaching field or have common planning time with other teachers.
The good news is that multiple initiatives are now under way to develop professional standards for beginning teachers, strengthen preparation, and shape strategies to address the developmental needs of teachers throughout their careers. The report highlights the work of the New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Santa Cruz, California that partners with states, districts, and policymakers and has established a well-designed, evidence-based induction model for beginning teachers that increases teacher retention, improves classroom effectiveness, and advances student learning.
NTC also partners with states and districts to report data on teaching and learning conditions using its Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) survey to help states develop policies and practices that connect related factors, such as school leadership, teaching, and learning conditions, and specific educator policies.
On the Path to Equity cautions that policies to improve teaching effectiveness are complex and depend on individual teachers’ abilities as well as the working conditions within schools. It adds that systemic approaches are needed to reverse the inequities in the distribution of teaching talent and to foster school environments that support the kind of ongoing, intensive professional learning that positively impacts student learning. To this end, the report offers five policy recommendations for states and districts:
• Require regular evaluations of teachers using multiple measures.
• Develop systems to encourage high-quality educator development and teaching.
• Require comprehensive induction programs for new teachers.
• Embed analysis and improvement of teaching and learning conditions.
• Support staff selection and professional growth systems that foster collegial collaboration.
“To fundamentally transform education and help students meet the higher performance required by the Common Core State Standards and other college- and career-ready standards, the culture of how teachers are supported must change,” said Wise. “Such a change requires new initiatives and structures to attract, develop, and retain the best teaching talent in high schools serving students with the greatest needs, as well as a system that ensures that new teachers receive comprehensive induction and access to school-based collaborative learning.”
On the Path to Equity includes a state-by-state breakdown detailing the number of teachers leaving the profession, as well as a low and high estimate of teacher attrition costs. It is available at http://www.all4ed.org/reports-factsheets/path-to-equity.
At 1:00 p.m. (EDT) today, the Alliance will hold a video webinar on the report that will feature Mariana Haynes, PhD, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education; Terry Holliday, PhD, Commissioner of Education, Kentucky Department of Education; Richard Ingersoll, PhD, Professor of Education and Sociology, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania; and Ellen Moir, Executive Director, New Teacher Center. RSVP to watch the webinar at http://all4ed.org/webinar-event/jul-17-2014/.
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. http://www.all4ed.org
Categories: Education and the Economy, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Preparation, Teacher Quality, Teachers & Leaders

Every population of kids is different and they arrive at school at various points on the ready to learn continuum. Schools and teachers must be accountable, but there should be various measures of judging teacher effectiveness for a particular population of children. Perhaps, more time and effort should be spent in developing a strong principal corps and giving principals the training and assistance in evaluation and mentoring techniques. Teachers must be compensated fairly for their work. Dave Eggers and NÍnive Clements Calegari have a provocative New York Times article, The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/opinion/01eggers.html?_r=0 The Center for American Progress has a report by Frank Adamson and Linda Darling Hammond, Speaking of Salaries: What It Will Take to Get Qualified, Effective Teachers In All Communities http://americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/05/20/9638/speaking-of-salaries/


No Child Left Behind A Parents Guide

Click to access parentsguide.pdf

MSNBC video: Why Do Good Teachers Leave? http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46622232/#46622232

Debate: Are Teachers’ Unions the Problem—or the Answer?

Quiet Riot: Insurgents Take On Teachers’ Unions

Can Teachers Unions Do Education Reform?

Let a New Teacher-Union Debate Begin

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Transitional courses: Trying to prepare poorly educated high schoolers for college

20 Feb

Moi wrote in Remedial education in college:
Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready?

The Big Four
A comprehensive college preparation program must address four distinct dimensions of college readiness: cognitive strategies, content knowledge, self-management skills, and knowledge about postsecondary education.
Key Cognitive Strategies
Colleges expect their students to think about what they learn. Students entering college are more likely to succeed if they can formulate, investigate, and propose solutions to nonroutine problems; understand and analyze conflicting explanations of phenomena or events; evaluate the credibility and utility of source material and then integrate sources into a paper or project appropriately; think analytically and logically, comparing and contrasting differing philosophies, methods, and positions to understand an issue or concept; and exercise precision and accuracy as they apply their methods and develop their products.
Key Content Knowledge
Several independently conducted research and development efforts help us identify the key knowledge and skills students should master to take full advantage of college. Standards for Success (Conley, 2003) systematically polled university faculty members and analyzed their course documents to determine what these teachers expected of students in entry-level courses. The American Diploma Project (2004) consulted representatives of the business community and postsecondary faculty to define standards in math and English. More recently, both ACT (2008) and the College Board (2006) have released college readiness standards in English and math. Finally, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2008), under mandate of state law, developed one of the first and most comprehensive sets of state-level college readiness standards….
Key Self-Management Skills
In college, students must keep track of massive amounts of information and organize themselves to meet competing deadlines and priorities. They must plan their time carefully to complete these tasks. They must be able to study independently and in informal and formal study groups. They must know when to seek help from academic support services and when to cut their losses and drop a course. These tasks require self-management, a skill that individuals must develop over time, with considerable practice and trial-and-error.
Key Knowledge About Postsecondary Education
Choosing a college, applying, securing financial aid, and then adjusting to college life require a tremendous amount of specialized knowledge. This knowledge includes matching personal interests with college majors and programs; understanding federal and individual college financial aid programs and how and when to complete appropriate forms; registering for, preparing for, and taking required admissions exams; applying to college on time and submitting all necessary information; and, perhaps most important, understanding how the culture of college is different from that of high school….
Students who would be the first in their family to attend college, students from immigrant families, students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in college, and students from low-income families are much more easily thrown off the path to college if they have deficiencies in any of the four dimensions.http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspx

The difficult question is whether current testing accurately measures whether students are prepared for college. https://drwilda.com/2012/03/04/remedial-education-in-college/

Caralee J. Adams reported in the Education Week article, ‘Transitional’ Courses Catch On as College-Prep Strategy:

With many students entering college ill prepared to succeed academically, one remedy states and districts are increasingly bringing to the table is transitional coursework for high schoolers who need extra help.
Take Tennessee. High school teachers and community college faculty members teamed up to develop an online math course, first piloted in 2012, for those who score poorly on the act and need to catch up before graduation. Since then, the initiative has drawn broader support, including backing from Gov. Bill Haslam.
This academic year, the course began to roll out statewide with some $1.12 million from the governor’s “innovation fund.” Mr. Haslam, a Republican, is proposing another $2.6 million to expand the program as part of his fiscal 2014-15 budget.
Eight states now offer transitional curricula statewide to high school students, and another 21 states have locally run initiatives, according to a recent review by the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. The report, issued last May, also found that 25 states, and districts in another 13 states, measure the ability of all high school students by the junior year to succeed in entry-level courses at the postsecondary level.
Early assessments and corresponding course interventions are gaining traction as part of a concerted push to help students leave high school college-ready, said Elisabeth A. Barnett, a researcher at the center who led the recent state review. Her report also found that more than a dozen other states were in the process of planning such programs.
‘Paying Twice’
With the annual cost of providing remedial education in college pegged at nearly $7 billion, based on federal data, states are eager for ways to reduce the need.
“To policymakers, it’s like paying twice for the same education,” said Ms. Barnett.
The transitional curricula being offered by states and districts typically consist of a course, a set of instructional units, online tutorials, or other educational experiences offered no later than 12th grade to students considered at risk of being placed into remedial college courses, according to the Teachers College report.
These programs are designed for students who don’t quite meet college-readiness benchmarks, but who aspire to college and need some extra instruction. Students take the transitional courses during the school day, usually for high school credit with the goal of entering credit-bearing college courses upon matriculation.
A few states, such as California, were early adopters of the transitional approach, but most states have launched their programs in the past two to three years, and interest is rising, according to Ms. Barnett. The issue will be front and center in every state soon with the advent of assessments aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Once students are deemed ready or not—and many educators anticipate that large numbers will not be college-ready—states will be scrambling to find ways to get students up to speed, Ms. Barnett added.
“The huge readiness gap has been apparent for several years, but it is growing, and we will continue to see it grow as the common core takes hold,” said Megan A. Root, a senior associate with the Southern Regional Education Board, in Atlanta, which has been an advocate of what it calls “readiness” courses to ease the transition to college or career training.
The SREB convened teams of teachers, college faculty members, and other experts who worked for three years to develop curricula for a math course and a literacy course for struggling high school students. The courses are being piloted now in 20 schools in seven states, including Arkansas, Indiana, and Louisiana, and the curriculum was posted free online in November. The board is working with 16 states, which have committed to the agenda with varying levels of policy to support it.
While such efforts with transitional curricula may be part of the answer to the challenge of improving college completion, alone they are insufficient, said Phillip Lovell, a vice president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington-based research and advocacy group. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/02/19/21highschool.h33.html?tkn=NUOFOPsd0T8GfgW3DUT6xdmEy4RDZdYvKyv2&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

See. Alliance for Excellent Education http://all4ed.org/issues/college-career-readiness/

Here is an explanation of the Core to College Program:

Core to College
What is Core to College?
Core to College is a multi-state grant initiative designed to promote strong collaboration between higher education and the K-12 sectors in the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and aligned assessments. In 12 grantee states – Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington – Core to College is helping states drive higher levels of alignment and collaboration to achieve greater college readiness with financial resources, technical assistance and evaluation support.
How will Core to College Make an Impact?
Core to College has a number of intended state-level outcomes. Each grantee state has identified its own specific activities that support the following:
• Establishing a statewide definition of college readiness.
• Creating the conditions that lead to the adoption by post-secondary institutions of the CCSS assessments as a determinant of a student’s readiness for credit-bearing course enrollment.
• Promoting greater K-12/post-secondary sector alignment around the CCSS in areas including, but not limited to:
o Academic courses and sequences
o Data and accountability
o Teacher development (including both pre-service and in-service)
What are Core to College States Doing?
Core to College grantees have developed a number of strategies and activities to meet their goals:
Convenings. All twelve states are hosting trainings and convenings to foster connections between K-12 educators and leaders and post-secondary faculty and administrators. These are occurring at various levels – state, regional and local.
Dedicated Staff. All grantee states have hired an Alignment Director to add critical cross-sector capacity and drive the collaborative work forward.
Communications. States are developing communications plans to create and disseminate information about the Common Core State Standards and assessments, and how these new tools will improve college readiness and college completion in their state.
Data Activities. The grantee states plan to gather, analyze and distribute information about student transitions and preparedness to ensure that collaboration and initiatives are supported by outcomes data; in some cases, states will be collecting and sharing post-secondary student outcomes with high schools in their state.
Core to College is a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with funding from the Lumina Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. WestEd will conduct an independent evaluation of the project. Education First is the project manager and oversees the Core to College Learning Network. For more information contact Anand Vaishnav at

In Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person, moi said:
There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the state of education in America. A lot of that dissatisfaction comes from the belief that the education system fails to actually educate children and to teach them critical thinking skills.
K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.” https://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/


What the ACT college readiness assessment means https://drwilda.com/2012/08/25/what-the-act-college-readiness-assessment-means/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

ACT to assess college readiness for 3rd-10th Grades https://drwilda.com/2012/07/04/act-to-assess-college-readiness-for-3rd-10th-grades/

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Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout

19 Nov

In Is mandating 18 as the dropout age the answer? Moi wrote:

The Alliance for Excellent Education has information about Graduation Rates at their site:

Yet every year, approximately 1.3 million students—that’s over 7,000 every school day—do not graduate from high school on time. Nationwide, only 69 percent of students earn their high school diplomas. Among minority students, only 56 percent of Hispanic, 54 percent of African American, and 51 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native students in the U.S. graduate with a regular diploma, compared to 77 percent of white students and 81 percent of Asian Americans….

High school dropouts face a lifetime of reduced earnings and a diminished quality of life. For example, a high school dropout’s lifetime earnings are, on average, about $260,000 less than a high school graduate’s. Local communities, states, and the American economy suffer from the dropout crisis as well – from lost wages, taxes, and productivity to higher costs for health care, welfare, and crime, as shown in the potential economic impacts nationally and by state.

Census projections show that the minority populations with the lowest graduation rates are poised to become half of the U.S. population by 2050. According to Demography as Destiny: How America Can Build a Better Future, an Alliance issue brief, if minority students continue to receive inferior educations and leave high school without diplomas and adequate preparation for the twenty-first-century economy, the nation’s graduation rate and economic strength will both decrease further.

To learn more, access the Alliance’s publications on high school graduation and dropout rates. http://www.all4ed.org/about_the_crisis/students/grad_rates

The question that educators, politicians, and business leaders are asking is how to decrease the dropout rates.

Passing a law is not going to be effective, but intervention for at-risk students and early childhood education are proven strategies. Those strategies cost money. The question is whether the political elite are paying lip service to dropout prevention while being penny wise and pound foolish. Rapoport is correct that raising the age to dropout must be accompanied by proven education strategies. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/26/is-mandating-18-as-the-dropout-age-the-answer/

Caralee Adams writes in the Education Week article, Why High School Students Drop Out and Efforts to Re-Engage:

Parenthood—either being a parent or missing out on parental support—is the leading reason cited by dropouts for leaving school, according to a new survey.

The 2012 High School Dropouts in America survey was released today by Harris/Decima, a division of Harris Interactive, on behalf of Everest College, a part of the for-profit Corinthian College Inc.

The poll was commissioned to help policymakers and educators understand why students drop out of high school and find effective ways to re-engage them in the hope of improving graduation rates.

The survey asked 513 adults, ages 19 to 35: “Which, if any, of the following reasons prevented you from finishing high school?” Here are the responses:

  1. Absence of parental support or encouragement (23 percent)
  2. Becoming a parent (21 percent)
  3. Lacking the credits needed to graduate (17 percent)
  4. Missing too many days of school (17 percent)
  5. Failing classes (15 percent)
  6. Uninteresting classes (15 percent)
  7. Experiencing a mental illness, such as depression (15 percent)
  8. Having to work to support by family (12 percent)
  9. Was bullied and didn’t want to return (12 percent)

In the survey, conducted online in October, 55 percent of the dropouts looked into, but had not started the process of getting their high school equivalency or GED. The likelihood of doing so is higher for those who are married (67 percent). The reasons for not getting a GED: “not having enough time” (34 percent) and “it costs too much” (26 percent).

One-third of high school dropouts say they are employed either full time, part time, or are self‐employed. Another 38 percent of the men and 26 percent of the women were unemployed.

Attracting young adults who have dropped out back for more education is a challenge.

Often students don’t want to return to the same school they left and are looking for flexible options. One approach that is showing promise is the Boston Public Re-Engagement Center. There, students can retake up to two courses they previously failed; try online credit recovery, or attend night school or summer school. Coming into the program, out-of-school youths are connected with an adult to discuss goals, finances, and enrollment options. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/college_bound/2012/11/examining_reasons_for_dropping_out_of_high_school_and_ways_to_re-engage_students.html

See, High School Dropouts Worsened By Lack Of Support, Becoming A Parent: Survey http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/lack-of-support-becoming-_n_2137961.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

Here is the Executive Summary of Rennie Center’s report about Massachusetts:

Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students Through Dropout Recovery [PDF]

Voices From the Field [PDF]

Executive Summary: Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students Through Dropout Recovery [PDF]


Presentation: Forgotten Youth [PDF]


Recovering Out-of-School Youth: Using Re-Engagement as a Dropout Reduction Strategy [Web Page]  

Forgotten Youth

Re-Engaging Students Through Dropout Recovery Issue

Each year, thousands of Massachusetts students drop out of school. The path forward for these students is difficult, and failing to educate the next generation of workers and leaders has substantial long-term consequences for our shared economic and social well-being. Policymakers recently have devoted significant attention to dropout reduction; however, this agenda lacks focus on dropout recovery, the act of re-engaging and re-enrolling students who leave school before graduating. Without a more systemic approach to connect with these youth, educators will struggle to fulfill a commitment to educate all students.


Boston’s Re-Engagement Center is a dropout recovery program that strives to re-enroll out-of-school youth through outreach, personal connections, and needs-based educational options.


The Rennie Center conducted a case study of the Re-Engagement Center (REC) in Spring 2012, the findings of which are highlighted in the policy brief Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students Through Dropout Recovery.


Promising practices A robust public-private partnership provides resources & support critical to the REC’s success. By pooling their assets, two partners pushed the work beyond what either could accomplish individually.
 The REC is a welcoming and supportive environment that encourages out-of-school youth to re-enroll in school. Staff encourage & assist youth who may not know what re-enrollment options are available.


Out-of-school youth who decide to return to school require appropriate educational options. A range of options, some immediately accessible, is essential for keeping these youth interested in education.


The REC is a driver of reform for serving students at-risk for leaving school. Information about out-of-school youth has pushed BPS to re-evaluate support provided to students at-risk for dropping out.

Continuing Challenges Information and data tracking is needed to demonstrate the impact of dropout recovery. There is no formal information tracking to explain the REC’s impact on graduation rates and district practices.

More systematic approaches are needed to evaluate out-of-school youth before re-enrollment. Re-engagement procedures would benefit from entry assessments to better address student needs.


There is limited capacity in the school district to re-enroll youth. Re-engaging youth often prefer to re-enroll in alternative education programs over traditional high schools, but seats are limited.


Formalization of the REC’s work is needed to strengthen organizational capacity and sustainability. Additional funding from diverse sources is needed to maintain and expand current operations.

 The inflexibility of some policies disengages many students who are close to graduation. Rigid credit hour requirements and MCAS administration dates create challenges to graduating with a diploma.
Considerations For school and district leaders Shape re-engagement around out-of-school youth needs by including multiple, flexible re-enrollment options. Develop partnerships with experienced organizations working to support at-risk youth. Create a supportive and welcoming environment for returning youth by finding the right staff and location.

Nurture open dialogue between re-engagement staff and district leadership to shape systematic change.


For community partners

Use an existing understanding of out-of-school youth to partner with districts to address unmet needs.

Address financial stability at the outset to ensure maintenance of the program.


For state policymakers

Support school districts in making re-engaging out-of-school youth a priority.

Encourage districts to develop or expand existing education options based on student needs.

Create opportunities for out-of-school youth to graduate by bein

Moi wrote about childcare in A baby changes everything: Helping parents finish school https://drwilda.com/tag/childcare-on-colleges/

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Translating digital learning into K-12 education

18 Nov

Moi wrote in The digital divide in classrooms:

One of the major contributors to poverty in third world nations is limited access to education opportunities. The Asian Development Bank has the best concise synopsis of the link between Education and Poverty For a good article about education and poverty which has agood bibliography, go toPoverty and Education, Overview As technology becomes more prevalent in society and increasingly is used in schools, there is talk of a “digital divide” between the haves and have-nots. Laurence Wolff and Soledad MacKinnon define the “digital divide” in their article, What is the Digital Divide?

The “digital divide,” inequalities in access to and utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT), is immense.


Access to information technology varies within societies and it varies between countries. The focus of this article is the digital divide in education. https://drwilda.com/2012/01/25/the-digital-divide-in-classrooms/

Huffington Post reports in the article, Education Technology, Digital Learning Not As Easy As It Seems: Alliance For Excellent Education Report:

A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education identifies four key challenges that public school district leaders must address in the next two years in order to successfully bring digital learning and education technology into K-12 classrooms.

The driving force behind the nationwide effort to adopt a comprehensive digital learning strategy is the move by all states to raise academic expectations by requiring students to graduate from high school college- and career-ready. Additionally, the Common Core State Standards adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia necessitates using technology to prepare students for computer-administered assessments in the 2014-15 school year.

If you’re a school or district leader who is considering using education technology and digital learning in your schools, STOP — and go no further — until you have a comprehensive plan that addresses your district’s specific challenges and learning goals for all students,” Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, said in a statement.

One challenge facing district leaders is ensuring that all students are adequately prepared for college and career following graduation. The report states that schools must adapt accordingly and provide students with learning opportunities that are more hands on, experiential, project-based and aligned with their interests. Doing so will enable students to produce content, analyze information and develop a deeper knowledge of complex topics.

Districts must also manage shrinking budgets and rethink how resources are allocated in support of teachers. The report recommends streamlining expenses, offering online professional development, elevating media specialists as instructional leaders and analyzing budget expenses.

When it comes to training and supporting teachers, the Alliance for Excellent Education encourages a transition from a teacher-centric culture to learner-centered instruction, so as to combat the widely uneven and inequitably distributed access to teachers. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/15/alliance-for-excellent-ed_n_2140129.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

The digital learning report is part of an initiative launched by the Alliance:

Alliance Launches Major Effort to Inform School District Leaders About Decisions Affecting the Future of Education

Every school, district, and state leader must make critical decisions in the next two years involving digital learning that will shape education for decades, according to a new report from the Alliance.

The report, The Nation’s Schools Are Stepping Up to Higher Standards, identifies four key challenges that public school district leaders must systemically address in the next two years and outlines the essential elements for developing a comprehensive digital strategy. (Click on the infographic to the left for a larger image).

The report, plus the Nov. 15 webinar and new digital learning web portal accompanying its release, are the first steps in a major effort by the Alliance to help district leaders make smart, far-reaching decisions about implementing education technology that support teachers and improve student outcomes in K–12 public schools.

If you’re a school or district leader who is considering using education technology and digital learning in your schools, STOP—and go no further—until you have a comprehensive plan that addresses your district’s specific challenges and learning goals for all students,” said Alliance President Bob Wise.

Read the press release , download the report, or access the digital learning portal.

All children have a right to a good basic education. See, Rural schools and the digital divide https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/


Schools Must Bridge the Digital Divide                                          http://www.abpc21.org/digitaldivide.html

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