Tag Archives: High School Dropouts

Washington University study: More math and science requirements may lead to more dropouts

24 Aug

Caralee Adams wrote 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

There is a reluctance to promote vocational opportunities in the U.S. because there is a fear of tracking individuals into vocational training and denying certain groups access to a college education. The comprise could be a combination of both quality technical training with a solid academic foundation. Individuals may have a series of careers over the course of a career and a solid foundation which provides a degree of flexibility is desired for survival in the future. See, Why go to college? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/why-go-to-college/

Henry M. Levin and Cecilia E. Rouse opine in their New York Times opinion piece, The True Cost of High School Dropouts:

In 1970, the United States had the world’s highest rate of high school and college graduation. Today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, we’ve slipped to No. 21 in high school completion and No. 15 in college completion, as other countries surpassed us in the quality of their primary and secondary education.
Only 7 of 10 ninth graders today will get high school diplomas. A decade after the No Child Left Behind law mandated efforts to reduce the racial gap, about 80 percent of white and Asian students graduate from high school, compared with only 55 percent of blacks and Hispanics.
Like President Obama, many reformers focus their dropout prevention efforts on high schoolers; replacing large high schools with smaller learning communities where poor students can get individualized instruction from dedicated teachers has been shown to be effective. Rigorous evidence gathered over decades suggests that some of the most promising approaches need to start even earlier: preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, who are fed and taught in small groups, followed up with home visits by teachers and with group meetings of parents; reducing class size in the early grades; and increasing teacher salaries from kindergarten through 12th grade….
If we could reduce the current number of dropouts by just half, we would yield almost 700,000 new graduates a year, and it would more than pay for itself. Studies show that the typical high school graduate will obtain higher employment and earnings — an astonishing 50 percent to 100 percent increase in lifetime income — and will be less likely to draw on public money for health care and welfare and less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Further, because of the increased income, the typical graduate will contribute more in tax revenues over his lifetime than if he’d dropped out.
When the costs of investment to produce a new graduate are taken into account, there is a return of $1.45 to $3.55 for every dollar of investment, depending upon the educational intervention strategy. Under this estimate, each new graduate confers a net benefit to taxpayers of about $127,000 over the graduate’s lifetime. This is a benefit to the public of nearly $90 billion for each year of success in reducing the number of high school dropouts by 700,000 — or something close to $1 trillion after 11 years. That’s real money — and a reason both liberals and conservatives should rally behind dropout prevention as an element of economic recovery, leaving aside the ethical dimensions of educating our young people….
Proven educational strategies to increase high school completion, like high-quality preschool, provide returns to the taxpayer that are as much as three and a half times their cost. Investing our public dollars wisely to reduce the number of high school dropouts must be a central part of any strategy to raise long-run economic growth, reduce inequality and return fiscal health to our federal, state and local governments. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/opinion/the-true-cost-of-high-school-dropouts.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

In order to compete internationally, the U.S. must have an educated workforce and high school is the first step for college and additional vocational training. Are the high school options so narrowly tailored to focus only on college?

Science Digest reported in the article, Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts:

“There’s been a movement to make education in the United States compare more favorably to education in the rest of the world, and part of that has involved increasing math and science graduation requirements,” explained first author Andrew D. Plunk, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine.
“There was an expectation that this was going to be good for students, but the evidence from our analyses suggests that many students ended up dropping out when school was made harder for them,” he added.
Studying census data going back to 1990, the researchers showed that the U.S. dropout rate rose to a high of 11.4 percent when students were required to take six math and science courses, compared with 8.6 percent for students who needed fewer math and science courses to graduate. Results also varied by gender, race and ethnicity with the dropout rate for some groups increasing by as much as 5 percentage points.
Plunk and his colleagues studied census data that tracks educational attainment. The researchers compared the performance of students in states with more rigorous math and science requirements to students in states where these requirements were less stringent.
“As graduation requirements were strengthened, high school dropout rates increased across the whole population,” Plunk said. “But African-Americans and Hispanics were especially affected. I think our findings highlight the need to anticipate there may be unintended consequences, especially when there are broad mandates that, in effect, make high school coursework harder.”
The researchers looked at student outcomes in 44 states where more stringent graduation requirements went into effect during the 1980s and 1990s. They used the data to examine how factors such as sex, race, ethnicity and moving from state to state, together with the tougher requirements, influenced educational attainment.
Among Hispanic males, the dropout rate increased 2.5 percentage points, and among African-American males, the rate rose by 2 points. The overall dropout rate for African-American males was 19 percent on average. But for young African-American males who went to schools in states with the most stringent math and science graduation requirements, the dropout rate rose to 23 percent…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731201000.htm

Citation:

Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts
Date: July 31, 2014

Source: Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
As U.S. high schools beef up math and science requirements for graduation, researchers have found that more rigorous academics drive some students to drop out.

Here is the press release from Washington University:

Unintended consequences: More high school math, science linked to more dropouts
July 31, 2014
By Jim Dryden
Robert Boston
As math and science requirements for high school graduation have become more rigorous, dropout rates across the United States have risen, according to research at Washington University in St. Louis. The tougher requirements appear to have had a major effect on high school graduation rates of Hispanic and African-American males.
As U.S. high schools beef up math and science requirements for graduation, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found that more rigorous academics drive some students to drop out.
The research team reported in the June/July issue of the journal Educational Researcher that policies increasing the number of required high school math and science courses are linked to higher dropout rates.
“There’s been a movement to make education in the United States compare more favorably to education in the rest of the world, and part of that has involved increasing math and science graduation requirements,” explained first author Andrew D. Plunk, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine.
“There was an expectation that this was going to be good for students, but the evidence from our analyses suggests that many students ended up dropping out when school was made harder for them,” he added.
Studying census data going back to 1990, the researchers showed that the U.S. dropout rate rose to a high of 11.4 percent when students were required to take six math and science courses, compared with 8.6 percent for students who needed fewer math and science courses to graduate. Results also varied by gender, race and ethnicity with the dropout rate for some groups increasing by as much as 5 percentage points.
Plunk and his colleagues studied census data that tracks educational attainment. The researchers compared the performance of students in states with more rigorous math and science requirements to students in states where these requirements were less stringent.
“As graduation requirements were strengthened, high school dropout rates increased across the whole population,” Plunk said. “But African-Americans and Hispanics were especially affected. I think our findings highlight the need to anticipate there may be unintended consequences, especially when there are broad mandates that, in effect, make high school coursework harder.”
The researchers looked at student outcomes in 44 states where more stringent graduation requirements went into effect during the 1980s and 1990s. They used the data to examine how factors such as sex, race, ethnicity and moving from state to state, together with the tougher requirements, influenced educational attainment.
Among Hispanic males, the dropout rate increased 2.5 percentage points, and among African-American males, the rate rose by 2 points. The overall dropout rate for African-American males was 19 percent on average. But for young African-American males who went to schools in states with the most stringent math and science graduation requirements, the dropout rate rose to 23 percent.
Co-author William F. Tate, PhD, dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and vice provost for graduate education, said that part of the problem with adding math and science courses to requirements for high school graduation was that a significant number of students weren’t prepared to meet the new requirements.
“Many students were ill-prepared for the tougher standards,” said Tate, the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts & Sciences. “Going forward, state policymakers must understand that students can’t take more math and science courses if they quit school.”
Plunk explained that as a health researcher, he is interested in the effects that higher dropout rates have on public health.
“High school education is very highly correlated with health outcomes,” he said. “Individuals who drop out of high school report more health problems and lower quality of life. Higher dropout rates also can strain the welfare system, which can affect people’s health.”
In addition to measuring dropout rates, the researchers analyzed the effects of math and science graduation requirements on college enrollment and on the likelihood that students would earn college degrees. They found mixed results.
As would be expected, the more high school dropouts, the lower the rate of college enrollment. But among those who did finish high school and go to college, there was good news, particularly for Hispanic students whose families didn’t move frequently to new states or school districts.

“If their families didn’t move frequently and they attended schools with tougher math and science requirements, the likelihood that Hispanic males would earn a college degree of some kind increased more than 6.3 percentage points,” Plunk said. “For Hispanic females, there was an increase of just over 5.3 points.”
Plunk said the study shows that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to educational requirements is not ideal because the effect on various demographic groups, states and school districts is likely to be very different.

What’s certain, he explained, is that when educational policies produce an unintended consequence like larger numbers of dropouts, the effects of those policies reverberate far beyond the classroom.
“Communities with higher dropout rates tend to have increased crime,” Plunk said. “Murders are more common. In fact, a previous study estimated that a 1 percent reduction in the country’s high school dropout rate could result in 400 fewer murders and 8,000 fewer assaults per year. Unfortunately, our finding of a 1 percent increase in the dropout rate suggests we are going in the wrong direction.”
________________________________________
This study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Washington University Institute for Public Health. NIH grant numbers T32 DA07313 and R01 DA031288.
Plunk AD, Tate WF, Bierut LJ, Grucza RA. Intended and unintended effects of state-mandated high school science and mathematics course graduation requirements on educational attainment. Educational Researcher, vol. 43(5), June/July 2014. First published online June 18, 2014. doi:10.3102/0013189X14540207
Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

There shouldn’t be a one size fits all in education and parents should be honest about what education options will work for a particular child. Even children from the same family may find that different education options will work for each child.

Resources:

School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden

The Facts: National Dropout Rates http://boostup.org/en/facts/statistics

Related:

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

Montgomery County Public Schools study: Identifying potential dropouts early
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/29/montgomery-county-public-schools-study-identifying-potential-dropouts-early/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Dropouts finish education: Kent School District’s iGrad Program

13 Jan

Moi wrote in Studies: Lack of support and early parenthood cause kids to dropout: 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
https://drwilda.com/2012/11/19/studies-lack-of-support-and-early-parenthood-cause-kids-to-dropout/

Michelle Conerly of the Kent Reporter wrote about a Kent School District program which helps dropouts finish their education in the article, More students making the grade at iGrad:

For students completing the Kent School District diploma track through the new iGrad program, this is what their classroom looks like.
The iGrad academy is a district program funded by the state in partnership with the Kent School District and Green River Community College (GRCC) that offers students 16-21 years old the ability to earn credits toward one of three program tracks. Students also may choose to earn a Washington state diploma or a GED certificate.
This individualized learning model is structured to cater to the students’ unique needs.
“At the iGrad site each student is taking the subjects they need to graduate – whatever they are credit deficient in,” said Catherine Cantrell, interim dean of instruction – language, academic skills, and wellness at GRCC.
At of the beginning of January, around 460 students were enrolled in the iGrad program, but according to Principal Carol Cleveland, 12 to 14 students are added daily, making the actual number of students much higher.
Before enrolling, every student meets with Cleveland for a one-on-one session to address the student’s educational needs and goals. Then, the choice is his or hers as to which track would satisfy those needs.
For the students who choose the GED track, professors come to the iGrad site at 25668 104th Ave. SE, Kent, and students are expected to attend class four days a week in order to prepare for the GED test. For the students who choose to earn a Kent School District diploma, they must attend class for three hours once a week at the iGrad site. The other 12 required hours per week are to be completed remotely via a computer.
For students choosing the Washington state diploma track, they are able to attend GRCC classes on campus. Students are also able to earn college credit while still earning high school credits.
“We consider iGrad students Green River Community College students,” Cantrell said. “We encourage them to be a part of the college. The whole benefit of iGrad is that students can transition to college.”
To the couple thousand students in the Kent School District that were eligible to participate, a team of administrators sent out postcards informing them of their eligibility. For every postcard that was sent back expressing interest, the administrators called every student to meet with Cleveland and to begin the process of enrollment.
Many of the students who choose to participate in the iGrad program have dropped out of school or never re-enrolled in school for many reasons. Part of Cleveland’s job is to address those issues and make learning as accessible as possible for the students in this program.
“I try to remove all the barriers I can,” Cleveland said. “My day is filled with figuring out what they need.”
From bus passes and reduced childcare services to paying for their first two years of at GRCC, Cleveland has set up funds that allow her to be a “barrier remover” for the students in the iGrad program that qualify for these options.
Students do not have to live within the boundaries of the Kent School District to enroll in the iGrad program, yet if they choose to participate, they must abide by the school district rules. The interest in the program has grown so much that Cleveland has received calls from other districts and even other states as to how this model of education is working out for the students.
Not all the kinks are worked out yet, though. With only five teachers and two counselors, the minimal staffing makes it difficult at times for Cleveland. She is looking to hire an assistant principal to help organize and supervise the program.
For the students who choose to earn a Kent School District diploma, there is little to no social aspect of the program. For some students, the lack of socializing is welcomed, but for others, they miss the traditional classroom setting.
http://www.kentreporter.com/news/187224061.html

Here is information from the Kent School District about iGrad:

Learn more about the iGrad program

Progress reports are available for parents and guardians
Parents and guardians can receive weekly progress reports sent directly to their email. The reports are generated by the software systems that students use in their classes: Edgenuity (formerly known as e2020) and APEX.
To start receiving progress reports, email Assistant Principal, Mary Anderson at: mary.anderson@kent.k12.wa.us . Please include your student’s full name, email address(es) that reports will be sent to, and how often you’d like to receive reports: daily, weekly, or monthly.
We hope you’ll find this to be a useful tool in supporting your student and encouraging progress.
http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/iG

For a good discussion of why child care is important to students, see the journal article, Contemporary Childcare Issues Facing Colleges and Universities by Marybeth Kyle, William J. Campion, William R. Ogden; College Student Journal, Vol. 33, 1999.

In order for low-income people, particularly single mothers to have a shot at escaping poverty, they must get an education, trade, or vocation. For many, affordable child care is the key determinant of whether they can advance. Alexandra Cawthorne in the 2008 report for the Center for American Progress, The Straight Facts on Women in Poverty http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2008/10/08/5103/the-straight-facts-on-women-in-poverty/ describes the issues facing women in poverty. The National Coalition for Campus Children’s Centers has statistics about Children on Campus http://www.campuschildren.org/pubs/cclab/cclab1.html Moi wrote about childcare in A baby changes everything: Helping parents finish school https://drwilda.com/tag/childcare-on-colleges/

Education must not only be affordable for many student populations, it must be accessible as well.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART ©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Education Department changes the format of Education Digest: The Condition of Education

25 May

This blog post deals with The National Center on Education Statistics annual education data digest, the Condition of Education 2013.

Sarah D. Sparks writes in the Education Week article, Education Department Launches Overhauled Education Digest:

The National Center on Education Statistics this morning releases its annual education data digest, the Condition of Education 2013.

It finds a steady increase in the concentration of poverty in American schools. One in five public schools in 2011 had 75 percent or more of their students qualify for free- or reduced-price meals, up from only one in eight schools a decade ago.

And in the wake of the economic downturn, Americans who don’t attain higher education are the most likely to be unemployed: Among adults ages 25-34 who started but did not complete a high school degree, 30 percent were unemployed, making them only slightly better off than those with just a high school diploma, a group with a 32 percent unemployment rate. However, high school dropouts still lag far behind, with unemployment among this group at 44 percent.

On a brighter note, the Condition also finds higher enrollment in preschool—more than 60 percent of children ages 3-5 now attend, a majority of them in full-day classes&mdashand 15 states now require kindergarten for all students.

New Report Format

This year marks the start of a new format for the Condition of Education, according to NCES Commissioner Sean P. “Jack” Buckley. Only a handful of print issues of the report will be published going forward, but the website has been overhauled to make the data easier to use. NCES also—for those extreme edu-data junkies out there—is rolling out Condition of Education apps for smartphones and tablets.

The report itself, which has historically been a digest of all manner of education data released in a given year, has been pared down to 42 indicators that will be gauged annually, in the areas of population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary education. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2013/05/education_department_launches_overhauled_education_digest.html?intc=es

Citation:

The Condition of Education

Population CharacteristicsPopulation Characteristics

Participation in EducationParticipation in Education

Elementary and Secondary EducationElementary and Secondary Education

Postsecondary EducationPostsecondary Education

SpotlightsSpotlights

Reference TablesReference Tables

Reference MaterialsReference Materials

Letter from the CommissionerLetter From the Commissioner

This website has the key indicators of the condition of education in the United States. These indicators summarize important developments and trends using the latest statistics and are updated every year or every other year. A Congressionally mandated annual report on these indicators is provided to the White House and Congress each year.

In addition, this website has Spotlights on issues of current policy interest. These Spotlights take a more in-depth look at the issues through text, graphics and short videos.

Spotlights2013 Spotlights

Chapter 1:

Trends in Employment Rates by Educational Attainment

Chapter 2:

Kindergarten Entry Status: On-Time, Delayed-Entry, and Repeating Kindergartners

Chapter 3:

The Status of Rural Education

Chapter 4:

Financing Postsecondary Education in the United States

Download ReportDownload the 2013 Report

View the Mobile SiteView the Mobile Site

YouTubeWatch Videos on YouTube

TwitterShare Via Twitter

Here is the Readers Guide from the National Center for Education Statistics:

Reader’s Guide

The Condition of Education is available in three forms: a print volume for 2013; on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website as a full pdf, as individual pdfs, and in html; and on our mobile website. All reference tables are hyperlinked within the pdf and html versions, as are the sources for each of the graphics. The reference tables can be found in other NCES publications—primarily the Digest of Education Statistics. A pdf that contains all of the reference tables used in The Condition of Education 2013 is available on the NCES website.

Data Sources and Estimates

The data in these indicators were obtained from many different sources—including students and teachers, state education agencies, local elementary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities—using surveys and compilations of administrative records. Users should be cautious when comparing data from different sources. Differences in aspects such as procedures, timing, question phrasing, and interviewer training can affect the comparability of results across data sources.

Most indicators summarize data from surveys conducted by NCES or by the Census Bureau with support from NCES. Brief explanations of the major NCES surveys used in these indicators can be found in the Guide to Sources. More detailed explanations can be obtained on the NCES website under “Surveys and Programs.”

The Guide to Sources also includes information on non-NCES sources used to compile indicators, such as the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). These are Census Bureau surveys used extensively in the indicators. For further details on the ACS, see http://www.census.gov/acs/www/. For further details on the CPS, see http://www.census.gov/cps/.

Data for indicators are obtained primarily from two types of surveys: universe surveys and sample surveys. In universe surveys, information is collected from every member of the population. For example, in a survey regarding certain expenditures of public elementary and secondary schools, data would be obtained from each school district in the United States. When data from an entire population are available, estimates of the total population or a subpopulation are made by simply summing the units in the population or subpopulation. As a result, there is no sampling error, and observed differences are reported as true.

Since a universe survey is often expensive and time consuming, many surveys collect data from a sample of the population of interest (sample survey). For example, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assesses a representative sample of students rather than the entire population of students. When a sample survey is used, statistical uncertainty is introduced, because the data come from only a portion of the entire population. This statistical uncertainty must be considered when reporting estimates and making comparisons.

Various types of statistics derived from universe and sample surveys are reported in the indicators. Many indicators report the size of a population or a subpopulation, and often the size of a subpopulation is expressed as a percentage of the total population. In addition, the average (or mean) value of some characteristic of the population or subpopulation may be reported. The average is obtained by summing the values for all members of the population and dividing the sum by the size of the population. An example is the annual average salaries of full-time instructional faculty at degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Another measure that is sometimes used is the median. The median is the midpoint value of a characteristic at or above which 50 percent of the population is estimated to fall, and at or below which 50 percent of the population is estimated to fall. An example is the median annual earnings of young adults who are full-time, full-year wage and salary workers.

Standard Errors

Using estimates calculated from data based on a sample of the population requires consideration of several factors before the estimates become meaningful. When using data from a sample, some margin of error will always be present in estimations of characteristics of the total population or subpopulation because the data are available from only a portion of the total population. Consequently, data from samples can provide only an approximation of the true or actual value. The margin of error of an estimate, or the range of potential true or actual values, depends on several factors such as the amount of variation in the responses, the size and representativeness of the sample, and the size of the subgroup for which the estimate is computed. The magnitude of this margin of error is measured by what statisticians call the “standard error” of an estimate.

When data from sample surveys are reported, the standard error is calculated for each estimate. The standard errors for all estimated totals, means, medians, or percentages are reported in the reference tables.

In order to caution the reader when interpreting findings in the indicators, estimates from sample surveys are flagged with a “!” when the standard error is between 30 and 50 percent of the estimate, and suppressed with a “‡” when the standard error is 50 percent of the estimate or greater.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

When estimates are from a sample, caution is warranted when drawing conclusions about one estimate in comparison to another, or about whether a time series of estimates is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. Although one estimate may appear to be larger than another, a statistical test may find that the apparent difference between them is not reliably measurable due to the uncertainty around the estimates. In this case, the estimates will be described as having no measurable difference, meaning that the difference between them is not statistically significant.

Whether differences in means or percentages are statistically significant can be determined using the standard errors of the estimates. In these indicators and other reports produced by NCES, when differences are statistically significant, the probability that the difference occurred by chance is less than 5 percent, according to NCES standards.

Data presented in the indicators do not investigate more complex hypotheses, account for interrelationships among variables, or support causal inferences. We encourage readers who are interested in more complex questions and in-depth analysis to explore other NCES resources, including publications, online data tools, and public- and restricted-use datasets at http://nces.ed.gov.

For all indicators that report estimates based on samples, differences between estimates (including increases and decreases) are stated only when they are statistically significant. To determine whether differences reported are statistically significant, two-tailed t tests at the .05 level are typically used. The t test formula for determining statistical significance is adjusted when the samples being compared are dependent. The t test formula is not adjusted for multiple comparisons, with the exception of statistical tests conducted using the NAEP Data Explorer. When the variables to be tested are postulated to form a trend, the relationship may be tested using linear regression, logistic regression, or ANOVA trend analysis instead of a series of t tests. These alternate methods of analysis test for specific relationships (e.g., linear, quadratic, or cubic) among variables. For more information on data analysis, please see the NCES Statistical Standards, Standard 5-1, available at http://nces.ed.gov/statprog/2002/std5_1.asp.

A number of considerations influence the ultimate selection of the data years to feature in the indicators. To make analyses as timely as possible, the latest year of available data is shown. The choice of comparison years is often also based on the need to show the earliest available survey year, as in the case of the NAEP and the international assessment surveys. In the case of surveys with long time frames, such as surveys measuring enrollment, the decade’s beginning year (e.g., 1980 or 1990) often starts the trend line. In the figures and tables of the indicators, intervening years are selected in increments in order to show the general trend. The narrative for the indicators typically compares the most current year’s data with those from the initial year and then with those from a more recent period. Where applicable, the narrative may also note years in which the data begin to diverge from previous trends.

Rounding and Other Considerations

All calculations within the indicators are based on unrounded estimates. Therefore, the reader may find that a calculation, such as a difference or a percentage change, cited in the text or figure may not be identical to the calculation obtained by using the rounded values shown in the accompanying tables. Although values reported in the supplemental tables are generally rounded to one decimal place (e.g., 76.5 percent), values reported in each indicator are generally rounded to whole numbers (with any value of 0.50 or above rounded to the next highest whole number). Due to rounding, cumulative percentages may sometimes equal 99 or 101 percent rather than 100 percent.

Race and Ethnicity

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for the standards that govern the categories used to collect and present federal data on race and ethnicity. The OMB revised the guidelines on racial/ ethnic categories used by the federal government in October 1997, with a January 2003 deadline for implementation (Office of Management and Budget 1997). The revised standards require a minimum of these five categories for data on race: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and White. The standards also require the collection of data on the ethnicity categories Hispanic or Latino and Not Hispanic or Latino. It is important to note that Hispanic origin is an ethnicity rather than a race, and therefore persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Origin can be viewed as the heritage, nationality group, lineage, or country of birth of the person or the person’s parents or ancestors before their arrival in the United States. The race categories White, Black, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and American Indian or Alaska Native, as presented in these indicators, exclude persons of Hispanic origin unless noted otherwise.

The categories are defined as follows:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and maintaining tribal affiliation or community attachment.

  • Asian: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.

  • Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.

  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.

  • White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

  • Hispanic or Latino: A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Within these indicators, some of the category labels have been shortened in the indicator text, tables, and figures. American Indian or Alaska Native is denoted as American Indian/Alaska Native (except when separate estimates are available for American Indians alone or Alaska Natives alone); Black or African American is shortened to Black; and Hispanic or Latino is shortened to Hispanic. When discussed separately from Asian estimates, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander is shortened to Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

The indicators draw from a number of different sources. Many are federal surveys that collect data using the OMB standards for racial/ethnic classification described above; however, some sources have not fully adopted the standards, and some indicators include data collected prior to the adoption of the OMB standards. This report focuses on the six categories that are the most common among the various data sources used: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native. Asians and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders are combined into one category in indicators for which the data were not collected separately for the two groups.

Some of the surveys from which data are presented in these indicators give respondents the option of selecting either an “other” race category, a “Two or more races” or “multiracial” category, or both. Where possible, indicators present data on the “Two or more races” category; however, in some cases this category may not be separately shown because the information was not collected or due to other data issues. The “other” category is not separately shown. Any comparisons made between persons of one racial/ethnic group to “all other racial/ ethnic groups” include only the racial/ethnic groups shown in the indicator. In some surveys, respondents are not given the option to select more than one race. In these surveys, respondents of two or more races must select a single race category. Any comparisons between data from surveys that give the option to select more than one race and surveys that do not offer such an option should take into account the fact that there is a potential for bias if members of one racial group are more likely than members of the others to identify themselves as “Two or more races.”1 For postsecondary data, foreign students are counted separately and are therefore not included in any racial/ethnic category.

The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, collects information regarding specific racial/ethnic ancestry. Selected indicators include Hispanic ancestry subgroups (such as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Salvadoran, Other Central American, and South American) and Asian ancestry subgroups (such as Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese). In addition, selected indicators include “Two or more races” subgroups (such as White and Black, White and Asian, and White and American Indian/Alaska Native).

For more information on the ACS, see the Guide to Sources. For more information on race/ ethnicity, see the Glossary.

Limitations of the Data

The relatively small sizes of the American Indian/Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander populations pose many measurement difficulties when conducting statistical analysis. Even in larger surveys, the numbers of American Indians/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islanders included in a sample are often small. Researchers studying data on these two populations often face small sample sizes that reduce the reliability of results. Survey data for American Indians/Alaska Natives often have somewhat higher standard errors than data for other racial/ethnic groups. Due to large standard errors, differences that seem substantial are often not statistically significant and, therefore, not cited in the text.

Data on American Indians/Alaska Natives are often subject to inaccuracies that can result from respondents self-identifying their race/ethnicity. Research on the collection of race/ethnicity data suggests that the categorization of American Indian and Alaska Native is the least stable self-identification (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] 1995). The racial/ ethnic categories presented to a respondent, and the way in which the question is asked, can influence the response, especially for individuals who consider themselves of mixed race or ethnicity. These data limitations should be kept in mind when reading this report.

As mentioned above, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders are combined into one category in indicators for which the data were not collected separately for the two groups. The combined category can sometimes mask significant differences between subgroups. For example, prior to 2011, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) collected data that did not allow for separate reporting of estimates for Asians and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders. Information from the Digest of Education Statistics, 2011 (table 21), based on the Census Bureau Current Population Reports, indicates that 96 percent of all Asian/Pacific Islander 5- to 24-year-olds are Asian. This combined category for Asians/Pacific Islanders is more representative of Asians than Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders.

Symbols

In accordance with the NCES Statistical Standards, many tables in this volume use a series of symbols to alert the reader to special statistical notes. These symbols, and their meanings, are as follows:
— Not available.
† Not applicable.
# Rounds to zero.
! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 and 50 percent.
‡ Reporting standards not met. Either there are too few cases for a reliable estimate or the coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater.
*
p < .05 Significance level.


1 Such bias was found by a National Center for Health Statistics study that examined race/ethnicity responses to the 2000 Census. This study found, for example, that as the percentage of multiple-race respondents in a county increased, the likelihood of respondents stating Black as their primary race increased among Black/White respondents but decreased among American Indian or Alaska Native/Black respondents. See Parker, J. et al. (2004). Bridging Between Two Standards for Collecting Information on Race and Ethnicity: An Application to Census 2000 and Vital Rates. Public Health Reports, 119(2): 192–205. Available through http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1497618.

For those who are interested in education, this report is a goldmine.

Where information leads to Hope. ©    Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                      http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                             http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                                https://drwilda.com/

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]

PRESENTATIONS

Presentation: Forgotten Youth [PDF]

EVENTS

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.

Strategy

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.

Research

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.

Findings

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/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART © http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                        http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                              https://drwilda.com/

Report: Some good news about high school graduation rates

30 Jun

If children are to have a chance to participate not only in society, but in the economy, they must graduate from high school. In A B.A., not a high school diploma is the new threshold degree, moi said:

Laura Pappano reports in the New York Times article, The Master’s As the New Bachelor’s

Call it credential inflation. Once derided as the consolation prize for failing to finish a Ph.D. or just a way to kill time waiting out economic downturns, the master’s is now the fastest-growing degree. The number awarded, about 657,000 in 2009, has more than doubled since the 1980s, and the rate of increase has quickened substantially in the last couple of years, says Debra W. Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools. Nearly 2 in 25 people age 25 and over have a master’s, about the same proportion that had a bachelor’s or higher in 1960.

“Several years ago it became very clear to us that master’s education was moving very rapidly to become the entry degree in many professions,” Dr. Stewart says. The sheen has come, in part, because the degrees are newly specific and utilitarian. These are not your general master’s in policy or administration. Even the M.B.A., observed one business school dean, “is kind of too broad in the current environment.” Now, you have the M.S. in supply chain management, and in managing mission-driven organizations. There’s an M.S. in skeletal and dental bioarchaeology, and an M.A. in learning and thinking.

Alexander Eichler is reporting in the Huffington Post article, Many With Only High School Degree Laid Off During Weak Recover:

Among those Americans with only a high school degree who have lost a job since 2007, a third became unemployed after the official end of the recession, according to The Washington Post.

It’s a troubling statistic in its own right — job seekers without a college degree are having serious difficulty finding work in the current market, and the unemployment rate for high school graduates is more than twice that of college grads — but it also underscores the fact that, for many Americans, the recovery hasn’t felt very different from the recession that preceded it.

Economists consider the Great Recession to have ended in the summer of 2009, nearly three years ago. That’s the point when the economy stopped outright shrinking and began growing again. But the subsequent period of modest expansion has been marked by job cuts, uncertainty and a gradual erosion of financial security for many Americans. These conditions are expected to remain pronounced for a long time to come.

U.S. employers cut 529,973 jobs in 2010, according to the outplacement company Challenger, Gray & Christmas. In 2011, that number rose to 606,082. At the same time, wages and benefits barely grew, with the high jobless rate giving employers little incentive to pay workers more. Today, there are still nearly 13 million Americans looking for work.

It’s not that life has gotten much better for those with a job either. All together, median household incomes have now fallen more in the recovery than they did during the recession. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/jobless-recovery_n_1260678.html?ref=email_share

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/a-b-a-not-a-high-school-diploma-is-the-new-threshold-degree/

So, the Education Week report about improved high school graduation rates is welcome news.

Here is the press release about the Education Week report:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Carrie Matthews, (301) 280-3190, CommDesk@epe.org

National Graduation Rate Keeps Climbing; 1.1 Million Students Still Fail to Earn Diplomas

Report Examines Challenges Facing Latino Students; Identifies Promising Strategies and Districts Beating the Odds 

Individualized Graduation Reports Issued for All 50 States and D.C. 

WASHINGTON—June 7, 2012—A new national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center finds that the nation’s graduation rate has posted a solid gain for the second straight year, following a period of declines and stagnation. Amid this continuing turnaround, the nation’s graduation rate has risen to 73 percent, the highest level of high school completion since the late 1970s. The report shows that the nation’s public schools will generate about 90,000 fewer dropouts than the previous year. Nationwide improvements were driven, in large part, by impressive gains among Latino students.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the educational and economic future of the nation will hinge on our ability to better serve the nation’s large and growing Latino population, which faces unique challenges when it comes to success in high school and the transition to college and career,” said Christopher B. Swanson, Vice President of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit organization that publishes Education Week. “Given what’s at stake, it is heartening to see that graduation rates for Latinos are improving faster than for any other group of students.”

The nation’s 12.1 million Latino schoolchildren encounter significant barriers on the road to educational success: language challenges, poverty, lagging achievement, low rates of high school and college completion, and, more recently, a wave of state laws targeting illegal immigrants that have put additional strain on Hispanic students, families, and communities. The 2012 edition of Diplomas CountTrailing Behind, Moving Forward: Latino Students in U.S. Schools—takes a closer look at the state of schooling for this population of students, the challenges they face, and the lessons learned from some of the schools, districts, organizations, and communities that work closely with Latino students.

The report—part of an ongoing project conducted by the Bethesda, Md.-based Editorial Projects in Education—also tracks graduation policies for all 50 states and the District of Columbia and presents an updated analysis of graduation patterns for the nation, states, and the country’s 50 largest school systems. The new analysis focuses on the class of 2009, the most recent year for which data are available.

GRADUATION RATE TRENDING UPWARD

The national public school graduation rate for the class of 2009 reached 73.4 percent, an increase of 1.7 points from the previous year. Much of this improvement can be attributed to a rapid 5.5 point rise in graduation rates among Latinos and a 1.7 point gain for African-Americans. These increases more than offset modest drops in graduation rates for Asian-American and Native American students. Rates for white students remained largely unchanged. Diplomas Count 2012 www.edweek.org/go/dc12

The class of 2009 marked the end of a decade—punctuated by periods of sluggish growth and some troubling reversals—during which the nation’s graduation rate rose by more than 7 percentage points. These improvements have been widespread. Forty-four states have posted gains ranging from a fraction of a point to more than 20 points. All major demographic groups have also improved, with the drive toward higher graduation rates led by African-Americans and Latinos, both of which have posted improvements of 10 percentage points over the last 10 years.

While such signs of progress are reason for encouragement, that optimism is tempered by the reality that far too many young people are still failing to complete a high school education. Diplomas Count projects that 1.1 million students from this year’s high school class will not graduate with a diploma. That amounts to 6,000 students lost each school day, or one student every 29 seconds.

LATINOS IN FOCUS

Because the Latino graduation rate, at 63 percent, lags substantially behind the U.S. average, this group makes up a disproportionate number of the students who do not finish high school. Of the 1.1 million members of the class of 2012 that we project will fail to graduate with a diploma, about 310,000 (or 27 percent) will be Latinos. Two states—California and Texas—will produce half the nation’s Hispanic dropouts.

The educational experiences of Latino students are largely reflected in—if not directly driven by—the characteristics of the communities in which they live and the school systems by which they are served. Latinos are much more likely than whites to attend districts that are large and highly urbanized, that serve high proportions of English-language learners, and that struggle with high levels of poverty and racial and socioeconomic segregation. Yet some schools, districts, and communities—including those profiled in the report—have demonstrated records of success serving diverse Latino populations.

In a special analysis conducted for Diplomas Count 2012, the EPE Research Center identified a nationwide group of large, majority-Hispanic districts that are beating odds when it comes to graduation rates. Topping the list is California’s Lompoc Unified School District, which graduated 89 percent of its Latino students, compared with an expected rate of 67 percent. Three other districts “overachieved” by at least 15 percentage points: the Ceres Unified and Merced Union districts in California and Arizona’s Yuma Union High School District. High-performing systems outside the West and Southwest included those serving Providence, R.I., and Yonkers, N.Y.

SPECIAL WEB-ONLY FEATURES AVAILABLE AT EDWEEK.ORG

 The full Diplomas Count 2012 report and interactive tools: http://www.edweek.org/go/dc12.

 State Graduation Briefs for the 50 states and the District of Columbia featuring detailed data on current graduation rates and trends over time, definitions of college and work readiness, and state requirements for earning a high school diploma: http://www.edweek.org/go/dc12/sgb.

 The public release event for Diplomas Count 2012 will be streamed live in a simulcast from Washington, D.C. The webcast will be available at 10 a.m., EDT, on June 8 on edweek.org: http://www.edweek.org/ew/dc/2012/dc-livestream.html.

 EdWeek Maps, a powerful online database, lets users access graduation rates and other information for every school system in the nation and easily compare district, state, and national figures at maps.edweek.org.

# # #

The EPE Research Center is the research division of the Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit Editorial Projects in Education. It conducts policy surveys, collects data, and performs analyses that appear in the annual Quality Counts, Technology Counts, and Diplomas Count reports. The center also conducts independent research studies and maintains the Education Counts and EdWeek Maps online data resources. The EPE Research Center is on the Web at http://www.edweek.org/rc.

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

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.” The U.S. Department of Education has issued the following Press Release which describes the new method for calculating graduation rates.

Henry M. Levin and Cecilia E. Rouse opine in their New York Times opinion piece, The True Cost of High School Dropouts:

If we could reduce the current number of dropouts by just half, we would yield almost 700,000 new graduates a year, and it would more than pay for itself. Studies show that the typical high school graduate will obtain higher employment and earnings — an astonishing 50 percent to 100 percent increase in lifetime income — and will be less likely to draw on public money for health care and welfare and less likely to be involved in the criminal justice system. Further, because of the increased income, the typical graduate will contribute more in tax revenues over his lifetime than if he’d dropped out.

When the costs of investment to produce a new graduate are taken into account, there is a return of $1.45 to $3.55 for every dollar of investment, depending upon the educational intervention strategy. Under this estimate, each new graduate confers a net benefit to taxpayers of about $127,000 over the graduate’s lifetime. This is a benefit to the public of nearly $90 billion for each year of success in reducing the number of high school dropouts by 700,000 — or something close to $1 trillion after 11 years. That’s real money — and a reason both liberals and conservatives should rally behind dropout prevention as an element of economic recovery, leaving aside the ethical dimensions of educating our young people….

Proven educational strategies to increase high school completion, like high-quality preschool, provide returns to the taxpayer that are as much as three and a half times their cost. Investing our public dollars wisely to reduce the number of high school dropouts must be a central part of any strategy to raise long-run economic growth, reduce inequality and return fiscal health to our federal, state and local governments.                                                                                 http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/opinion/the-true-cost-of-high-school-dropouts.html?_r=1&emc=eta1

In order to compete internationally, the U.S. must have an educated workforce and high school is the first step for college and additional vocational training.                                                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/is-mandating-18-as-the-dropout-age-the-answer/

Related:

Is there a ‘model minority’ ??                                                                                 https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Title IX also mandates access to education for pregnant students                        https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/title-ix-also-mandates-access-to-education-for-pregnant-students/

Helping at-risk children start a home library                                                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/helping-at-risk-children-start-a-home-library/

Research papers: Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform                                           https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/research-papers-student-motivation-an-overlooked-piece-of-school-reform/

Study: When teachers overcompensate for prejudice                                   https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/study-when-teachers-overcompensate-for-prejudice/

A baby changes everything: Helping parents finish school                               https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/a-baby-changes-everything-helping-parents-finish-school/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Update:The GED as a door to the future

21 Feb

In The GED as a door to the future https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/the-ged-as-a-door-to-the-future/ , moi looked at question of whether a GED might open employment doors for some who have failed to complete their high school education. There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to theJuly 24, 2011 NPR report, School Dropout Rates Add To Fiscal Burden by Claudio Sanchez and Linda Wertheimer, “Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation.” http://www.npr.org/2011/07/24/138653393/school-dropout-rates-adds-to-fiscal-burden See, More Than Half Of Older High School Dropouts Not Employed Today http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/21/high-school-dropouts-unemployment_n_1291210.html?ref=education&ir=Education

The American Council on Education (ACE) is the official site for the General Educational Development Tests (GED). According to ACE:

What are the GED Tests?

The Tests of General Educational Development (GED Tests) are designed to measure the skills and knowledge equivalent to a high school course of study. The five subject area tests which comprise the GED test battery are Mathematics; Language Arts, Reading; Language Arts, Writing (including essay); Science; and Social Studies.

Watch the video: What is the GED Test?http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/faq/index.htm#GED_stand_for

The question is whether employers and education or training institutions view the GED as equivalent to the high school diploma.

Claudio Sanchez of NPR asks the question, In Today’s Economy, How Far Can A GED Take You?

“The GED is a credential. Is it adequate for gainful employment and a living wage in the United States of America today? I do not think so,” says Los Angeles Schools Superintendent John Deasy. His top lieutenant in charge of adult and career education, Ed Morris, is even more blunt.

“If I were prepared today with a GED, and that’s what I had as an 18-year-old, I’d be scared to death of the future,” he says.

Morris says employers require so much more than what the GED delivers, which is why some students question its value.

“Truth is,” says 18-year-old Juan Valera, “I don’t want a GED.”

Unlike older dropouts at the Friedman center, Valera can still earn a high school diploma by retaking the courses he failed in high school.

He wants to pursue a degree in criminal justice and eventually join the FBI. But right now, he says, a GED wouldn’t even get him in the door at Burger King.

“Every day when I leave here and I go home, I stop by [Burger King] and ask, ‘Are you trying to hire?’ ” he says. “I bother them.”

Let’s say they interview two people for the same job, says Valera. “But one has a GED, one has a high school diploma — someone is far more likely to hire someone who has a high school diploma.”

‘Not As Good As A Diploma’

Valera’s experience has been the same everywhere he has applied — Costco, Walmart, Sears and Best Buy. Companies want a credential that says, “I have the knowledge and skills to handle a job.”

And that’s where the GED falls short, says Russell Rumberger, author of the book Dropping Out.

“If you look at employer surveys,” he says, “the things that employers generally most look for or think are important, especially at lower-end jobs, are the things like perseverance and tenacity, and those kinds of qualities that are not measured by the GED.”

Rumberger, a professor of education at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says a high school diploma means you went to school for four years, did the work, passed the classes and didn’t quit. A GED, on the other hand, is a shortcut.

“The GED is better than no credential for a dropout,” he says, “but it’s not as good as a diploma. It doesn’t replace a diploma, in terms of labor market outcomes.”

The research also shows that only 1 in 10 GED recipients earns a college degree. Today, this is perhaps the GED’s biggest challenge.

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/18/147015513/in-todays-economy-how-far-can-a-ged-take-you?ft=1&f=1013

Moi ended The GED as a door to the future with the following paragraph:

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.”

The real issue is reducing the number of high school dropouts.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©