Tag Archives: Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders

Montgomery County Public Schools study: Identifying potential dropouts early

29 Jul

Moi has several posts about dropouts. In Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout, she wrote:
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

Montgomery County Public Schools are studying dropout indicators in an effort to intervene early.

Sarah D. Sparks wrote in the Education Week article, Dropout Indicators Found for 1st Graders:

The Montgomery County district compared the grades, attendance, and behavior of 723 dropouts from the class of 2011 and 523 dropouts from the class of 2012 with those of their classmates who graduated. The early-warning system reverse-engineers a risk profile based on warning signs at four critical transition points: spring of 1st grade and fall of 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades.
For example, chronic absenteeism is generally defined as missing 10 percent or more days of school, excused or unexcused. In Montgomery County, Mr. West found virtually no pupils in the early-elementary grades missed 20 days of school. But missing as few as nine days of school nearly doubled a student’s risk of dropping out later.
“The message for Montgomery County is, our kids are there in school; they just aren’t doing well,” Mr. West said at a discussion of the data system at the National Center on Education Statistics’ annual conference in Washington this month.
Similarly, elementary schools very rarely handed out punishments as severe as suspensions, but more subtle behavior cues, such as report card notations of incomplete homework, more accurately signaled future problems for elementary children.
Report card grades proved to be the strongest predictor of dropout risk found in grades 1 and 3. An overall GPA of 1.2 (roughly a D) in the spring of 1st grade more than doubled a student’s risk of dropping out later on, and more specifically, reading or doing math below grade level in 1st grade increased dropout risk by 134 percent.
“A parent has the report card, student has report card, teacher has a report card,” Mr. West said, “so if we base our conversation on the report card, at least everybody’s talking from the same page.”
In later years, lower academic performance was even more predictive, even with higher report card grades. At both the 6th and 9th grades, a student with a GPA below 3.0 and no other risk factors still was more than 3½ times more likely to drop out of school.
All told, a combination of the grades, attendance, and behavior indicators in 1st grade predicted about 75 percent of the students who dropped out in the classes of 2011 and 2012. A quarter to one-third of students who had at least one warning sign in 1st grade had more red flags in the 6th and 9th grades.
While Montgomery’s early-warning system is not yet being used to track individual students in real time, the district is changing the way it talks about student risk factors. For example, the data showed that more than 60 percent of students who dropped out were not from poor families. English-language learners were overrepresented among dropouts in the class of 2011—16 percent compared to the 4 percent district average—and special education students accounted for more than one in five dropouts in 2011, higher than their 11 percent share of the class overall. Still, Mr. West argued grade and behavior indicators proved more reliable and less discriminatory than looking at socioeconomics or race.
“We went from a very complicated approach to one that’s much simpler and geared toward teachers rather than the district,” Mr. West said. “It’s like getting your blood pressure checked; you have to do it often and over time.”
One reason for caution: At early grades, the system can show almost 50 percent more students at risk of dropping out as those who ultimately do. Still, Mr. West noted that it’s not certain whether the false positives come from mistakes that make sense in context—for example, a high-performing student who gets chicken pox and misses two weeks of school—or the effect of interventions to help at-risk students in later grades.
Flagging Students at Risk
As early as 1st grade, factors such as reading below grade level or racking up more than nine absences in a year can exponentially increase the odds that a students will eventually drop out of school, according to Montgomery County’s data.
SOURCE: Thomas C. West, Montgomery County Public

Here is the summary for Just the Right Mix: Identifying Potential Dropouts in Montgomery County Public Schools Using an Early Warning Indicators Approach:

Office of Shared Accountability Reports
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Title: Just the Right Mix: Identifying Potential Dropouts in Montgomery County Public Schools Using an Early Warning Indicators Approach
Topic: Other Data
Produced by: Research Team
Section: Early Warning Indicators
Published: March 2013
Authors: Thomas C. West
Keywords: early warning indicators, dropout, on-track, off-track, graduation
Years of Study: 2010-2011, 2011-2012
School Levels: Elementary, Middle, High
Format: Report
Pages: 28
Description: By applying the Early Warning Indicators (EWIs) approach to Montgomery County Public Schools’ student data, this report identifies the attendance, behavior, and coursework indicators of MCPS dropouts for the first marking periods of Grades 3, 6, and 9. Additionally, for the first time in EWI research, this report identifies EWIs for Grade 1.
An EWIs monitoring tool should be created based on research and cut points determined by the Office of Shared Accountability (OSA) for all elementary, middle, and high school grades.
EWI monitoring should be incorporated into teacher and administrator PLCs across all grades.
School staff, officials, counselors, and parents should work together to develop intervention strategies specific to individual students’ needs.
File name: Just the Right Mix_MCPS_West2013.pdf
Click here to open report (510KB PDF)

History is a race between education and catastrophe.
H. G. Wells

This world is in a period of dislocation and upheaval as great as the period of dislocation which ushered in the “industrial revolution.” The phrase “new, new thing” comes from a book by Michael Lewis about innovation in Silicon Valley. This historical period is between “new, new things” as the economy hopes that some new innovator will harness “green technology” and make it commercially viable as the economy needs the jump that only a “new, new thing” will give it. Peter S. Goodman has a fascinating article in the New York Times, Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs Unless, children are given a meaningful education which provides them with basic skills to adapt to a changing environment, the education system is producing a permanent underclass which will not be able to participate in the next “new, new thing.”


School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden
The Facts: National Dropout Rates


Dropout prevention: More schools offering daycare for students https://drwilda.com/2013/01/14/dropout-prevention-more-schools-offering-daycare-for-students/
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