Tag Archives: High School Graduation Rates

Should states make the GED a high school diploma?

1 Feb

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education. Kate Convissor lists the following reasons in the EduGuide article, Why Kids Drop Out of School:

While the reasons kids drop out vary, the following are six important risk factors:
1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.
2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.
3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.
4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.
5. Transition to a new school. A poor transition from the smaller, more protected environment of middle school to the anonymity of a high school can cause a teen to have difficulty catching up-and some kids never do.
6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging.
http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

Because many entry level jobs require at a minimum a high school diploma, the General Education Development Test or GED is often substituted for the high school diploma to show that an individual has reached a basic level of education achievement.

The Best Schools reported in High School Diplomas versus the GED:

Many indicators soundly show that holders of the GED fall behind their diploma-holding counterparts. The following are a few examples concerning future outcome differences:
• High school graduates earn, on average, about $1,600 a month more than those with a GED (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).
• Less than 5% of those with a GED receive a bachelor’s degree, compared to the 33% of those with diplomas that do (U.S. Census Bureau), which is supported by several studies showing that high school graduates are more prepared for college and score higher on placement tests than holders of the GED (National Bureau of Economic Research).
• 77% of GED holders do not continue past the first semester of college (American Council of Education study ).
• The military limits the number of accepted and requires higher scores on aptitude test for GED holders, because the military service dropout rates for GED holders is 45% compared to 24% for high school graduates.
The stigma connected with GED holders is not present for diploma holders, and that is the stigma of being a dropout, of lacking persistence, or of taking short cuts. This accounts partly for the large difference in wages between the two groups. Plus, many institutions view the robust education gained by years spent full-time in school cannot be garnered by the taking of a day-long test, nor indicated by it…. Maryland has offered diplomas to GED graduates for decades. Virginia gives GED recipients a certificate. http://www.thebestschools.org/degrees/high-school-diplomas-versus-ged/

Some school districts and states are moving toward issuing a high school diploma upon completion of a GED.

Michael Alison Chandler reported in the Washington Post article, D.C. explores widening the road to earning a high school diploma:

The proposed regulations by the Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE) would remove the standard “Carnegie unit” — 120 hours of instruction, representing an hour a day, five days a week, for 24 weeks — upon which high school credit is based.
Instead, starting next school year, students would have multiple ways to earn credit, including passing a state-approved test or participating in a “course equivalent,” such as an internship, community-service project, portfolio or performance that can be tied to the academic standards. Another proposal would create a “state diploma” that would go to students who pass the GED any time after January 2014…. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/dc-seeks-flexibility-in-granting-high-school-diplomas/2014/12/14/814816a6-7fa0-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html

D.C. is not the only area looking for alternatives to the high school diploma.

MaryLynn Schiavi reported in Program makes it easy to get a high school diploma:

A pilot program launched in October 2014 is blazing a new trail for students of all ages and redefining the role of public libraries throughout the state. The Career Online High School (COHS) program is offering residents a free and convenient way to earn a high school diploma and other credentialed certificates through self-paced online courses under the guidance of an assigned coach. Students are expected to complete the program within 18 months.
“This innovative project is the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age into full-fledged community resources,” said Mary Chute, New Jersey state librarian…. http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/2015/02/01/road-high-school-diploma/22589769/

It is important not only for a particular individual, but the economy for individuals to get a high school diploma. The question is 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 the July 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 Anything that states and school districts can do to broaden the opportunity to complete high school is useful.

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Schott Foundation report: Black and Latino boys are not succeeding in high school

19 Sep

One of the mantras of this blog is that education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be involved.

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well. Two key segments of this society are not as successful as other parts of society in high school graduation rates. The Schott Foundation has released the study, The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Male.

Here is the press release for The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Male:

PRESS RELEASE

Embargoed for release: September 19, 2012

Contact: Andrew Sousa| (202) 265-5111 |andrews@globalpolicysolutions.com

Jocelyn Rousey| (617) 876-7700 |jr@schottfoundation.org

The report and state-specific data can be found here: www.blackboysreport.org

Schott Foundation: America’s Education System Neglects Almost Half of the Nation’s Black and Latino Male Students

New report cites need to address students being pushed out and locked out of opportunities to learn;

Schott Foundation joins call for a moratorium on out-of-school suspensions

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A new report from the Schott Foundation for Public Education finds that only 52 percent of Black male and 58 percent of Latino male ninth-graders graduate from high school four years later, while 78 percent of White, non-Latino male ninth-graders graduate four years later. The report suggests that without a policy framework that creates opportunity for all students, strengthens supports for the teaching profession and strikes the right balance between support-based reforms and standards-driven reforms, the U.S. will become increasingly unequal and less competitive in the global economy.

According to The Urgency of Now: The Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males, the national graduation rate for Black males has increased by ten percentage points since 2001-02, with 2010-11 being the first year that more than half of the nation’s ninth-grade Black males graduated with a regular diploma four years later. Yet, this progress has closed the graduation gap between Black male and White, non-Latino males by only three percentage points. At this rate, it would take nearly 50 years for Black males to achieve the same high school graduation rates as their White male counterparts.

We have a responsibility to provide future generations of Americans with the education and the skills needed to thrive in communities, the job market and the global economy. Yet, too many Black and Latino young boys and men are being pushed out and locked out of the U.S. education system or find themselves unable to compete in a 21st Century economy upon graduating,” said John H. Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education. “These graduation rates are not indicative of a character flaw in the young men, but rather evidence of an unconscionable level of willful neglect, unequal resource allocation by federal, state and local entities and the indifference of too many elected and community leaders. It’s time for a support-based reform movement.”

Among the states with the largest Black enrollments, North Carolina (58%), Maryland (57%), and California (56%) have the highest graduation rates for Black males, while New York (37%), Illinois (47%) and Florida (47%) have the lowest. Arizona (84%) and Minnesota (65%) were the only states within the top ten ranked states, in graduation rates, with over 10,000 Black males enrolled. Among the states with the highest enrollments of Latinos, Arizona (68%), New Jersey (66%) and California (64%) have the highest graduation rates for Latino males, while New York (37%), Colorado (46%) and Georgia (52%) have the lowest.

Three of the four states with the highest graduation rates for Black males were states with a relatively small number of Black males enrolled in the state’s schools: Maine (97%), Vermont (82%), Utah (76%). This seems to indicate that Black males, on average, perform better in places and spaces where they are not relegated to under-resourced districts or schools. When provided similar opportunities they are more likely to produce similar or better outcomes as their White male peers.

The report cites the need to address what the Schott Foundation calls a “pushout” and “lockout” crisis in our education system, in part by reducing and reclaiming the number of students who are no longer in schools receiving critical educational services and improving the learning and transition opportunities for students who remain engaged. Blacks and Latinos face disproportionate rates of out-of-school suspensions and are not consistently receiving sufficient learning time – effectively being pushed out of opportunities to succeed. Many who remain in schools are locked out of systems with well-resourced schools and where teachers have the training, mentoring, administrative support, supplies and the facilities they need to provide our children with a substantive opportunity to learn.

In the foreword to the report, Andrés A. Alonso, CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools, described his city’s efforts to keep kids in schools: “We could not have made these strides without asserting unequivocally that we had no disposable children, and that we needed everyone’s help to make things right.” Alonzo concludes, “I am confident that we as a nation will rally and we will succeed. The cost of continued failure is around us, a disservice to our best hopes. The cost of continued failure should be abhorrent to contemplate.”

To cut down the alarming “pushout” rate, the Schott Foundation is supporting the recently launched Solutions Not Suspensions initiative, a grassroots effort of students, educators, parents and community leaders calling for a nationwide moratorium on out-of-school suspensions. The initiative, supported by The Opportunity to Learn Campaign and the Dignity in Schools Campaign, promotes proven programs that equip teachers and school administrators with effective alternatives to suspensions that keep young people in school and learning.

Schott also calls for students who are performing below grade level to receive “Personal Opportunity Plans” to prevent them from being locked out of receiving the resources needed to succeed. The report highlights the need to pivot from a standards-driven reform agenda to a supports-based reform agenda that provides all students equitable access to the resources critical to successfully achieving high standards.

The Urgency of Now also provides the following recommendations for improving graduation rates for young Black and Latino men:

End the rampant use of out-of-school suspensions as a default disciplinary action, as it decreases valuable learning time for the most vulnerable students and increases dropouts.

Expand learning time and increase opportunities for a well-rounded education including the arts, music, physical education, robotics, foreign language, and apprenticeships.

States and cities should conduct a redlining analysis of school funding, both between and within districts, and work with the community and educators to develop a support-based reform plan with equitable resource distribution to implement sound community school models.

There is no doubt that the stakes are high. Black and Latino children under the age of 18 will become a majority of all children in the U.S. by the end of the current decade, many of whom are in lower-income households located in neighborhoods with under-resourced schools,” said Michael Holzman, senior research consultant to the Schott Foundation. “We do not want our young Black and Latino men to have to beat the odds; we want to change the odds. We must focus on systemic change to provide all our children with the opportunity to learn.”

For the full report, The Urgency of Now: Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males,

including detailed state data, visit http://www.blackboysreport.org.

###

About The Schott Foundation for Public Education Founded in 1991, the Schott Foundation

for Public Education seeks to develop and strengthen a broad-based and representative movement to achieve fully resourced high quality preK-12 public education.

Learn more at: www.schottfoundation.org

http://blackboysreport.org/

Joy Moses has written the Center for American Progress report, Low-Income Fathers Need to Get Connected about the importance of making sure that low-income dads play a part in the lives of their children.

Low-income fathers should definitely be a part of the family policy equation. Men are able to financially contribute to their children’s well-being and help lift them out of poverty in the short term. They also provide care and emotional supports that can improve children’s life outcomes and help break the cycle of poverty in the long term.

Low-income fathers should definitely be a part of the family policy equation.

Unfortunately, far too many low-income men, and especially men of color, face barriers to playing these roles in their children’s lives. They are disproportionately disconnected from some extremely vital domains, and that harms them, their children, and families more generally.

These domains are examined in this paper and include:

  • Employment. Shifts in the economy have decreased low-skilled workers’ job opportunities and wages over the last couple of decades. This impairs some men’s ability to financially support their children and families. The related financial stress drives wedges between family members.
  • Society. More than 2 million people are in the nation’s prisons, and these are mostly low-income men. Their absence deprives children and families of income and emotional connections. And even after fathers are released, families continue to experience such negative consequences as income-impairing employment barriers linked to criminal records and reconnecting emotionally after a long period apart. Fathers are more likely to recidivate if family disconnections persist.
  • Housing. Housing is unaffordable to the lowest-income workers throughout the United States. Spending a disproportionate amount of income on housing depletes resources families have available for other needs associated with childrearing. Low-income families are also at risk of housing instability, which often physically divides families and harms their relationships with one another.

It’s clear that low-income children can’t afford it when their fathers experience these disconnections. Their mothers, who are low-income women, are the poorest of the poor and earn less than their male counterparts. Low-skilled African-American women and Latinas are at the absolute bottom of the economic ladder, with incomes that are less than similarly situated white females.

This means policies should seek to maximize the level of financial help fathers provide in addition to increasing women’s earnings and available work supports. Additional income from husbands, cohabiting fathers, or nonresident fathers via child support payments financially benefits children. And repairing men’s disconnections that impair their ability to provide care, love, and attention also benefits their children.

Download the full report (pdf)

Download the executive summary (pdf)

All anyone can say about this report to Ms. Moses is amen, sister.

We must encourage the formation of strong families and provide support to encourage the viability of families. This nation will not achieve the goal of successfully providing all children with a good basic education without the foundation of strong family support and that includes supporting the role of fathers in the upbringing and development of their children. There are some very uncomfortable conversations ahead for the African-American community about the high rate of unwed mothers, about the care of women during pregnancy, and about early childhood education in the homes of children. Most important, about the lack the active involvement of fathers of some children.

Time to start talking. The conversation is not going to get any less difficult.

Related:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant                                                                          https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it https://drwilda.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure                                                                      https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

 

 

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 ©

 

 

The GED as a door to the future

17 Nov

There are a variety of reasons why people fail to complete high school and fail complete their high school education, According to the July 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

There are many reasons why kids drop out of school. Kate Convissor lists the following reasons in the EduGuide article, Why Kids Drop Out of School:

While the reasons kids drop out vary, the following are six important risk factors:

  1. Academic difficulty and failure. Struggling in school and failing classes is one of the main reasons teens drop out, and this pattern often shows up early. Students who fail eighth grade English or math, for example, are seventy-five percent more likely to drop out of high school.
  2. Poor attendance. Teens who struggle in school are also absent a lot, and along with academic failure, absenteeism is an important future predictor for dropping out. As with the previous example, students who are absent for twenty percent of their eighth grade year (one day per week) are also highly likely to drop out in high school.
  3. Being held back (retention). Linked to academic difficulty, students who are held back and who are older than the kids in their grade also tend to drop out.
  4. Disengagement from school. Many kids who drop out say that school was boring and teachers did little to connect learning to real life. They didn’t feel invested in their school and they didn’t feel that adults seemed interested in them or their high school experience.
  5. Transition to a new school. A poor transition from the smaller, more protected environment of middle school to the anonymity of a high school can cause a teen to have difficulty catching up-and some kids never do.
  6. Other life factors. Pregnancy, family problems, and financial difficulties are all factors that distract a student from schoolwork and make keeping up more challenging.

http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2132/

Because many entry level jobs require at a minimum a high school diploma, the General Education Development Test or GED is often substituted for the high school diploma to show that an individual has reached a basic level of education achievement.

The GED Testing Service describes the GED in their Fact Sheet:

The GED Tests provide adults who did not complete a formal high school program the opportunity to certify their attainment of high school-level academic knowledge and skills

The tests are field-tested and normed on graduating high school seniors before becoming final test forms

Only 60% of graduating high school seniors would pass the GED Tests on their first attempt

The GED Test battery comprises five content area assessments:

Language Arts, Reading

Language Arts, Writing

Mathematics

Science

Social Studies

The GED Tests are currently offered only in a paper-pencil format at Official GED Testing Centers – they cannot be taken online

Completing the entire test battery takes just over 7 hours

http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/pubs/GED_Testing_Program_Fact_Sheet_v2_2010.pdf

Because of the competition for jobs in the current economy, there appears to be an “arms race” for completion of degrees and training.

Laura Pappano is reporting 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.

Just as there is an “arms race” in the completion of university degrees, there is a push to look at what successful completion of a GED means.

Catherine Gewertz is reporting in the Education Week article, Higher Education Is Goal of GED Overhaul about proposed changes to the GED.

The project to redesign the GED is far-reaching. It includes not only reworking the content in the five subject-matter tests and transferring them from pencil-and-paper to computers, but also overhauling professional development for GED teachers, reworking curricula, and adding strong counseling supports to help students pass and plan their next steps.

Pivotal to the ambitious initiative is repositioning the GED as a step in a journey toward postsecondary training, rather than as an end in itself. Epitomizing that shift in thinking, the new exam, due out in 2014, will have two passing points: the traditional one connoting high school equivalency, and an additional, higher one signaling college and career readiness….

Value Questioned

Situating the GED as a pathway to higher education echoes its original intent. The first exams, in 1942, were envisioned as a way for returning World War II veterans to complete high school and use the GI Bill to attend college. In 1949, the first year statistics are available for nonmilitary test-takers, 39,000 people took one or more of the five sections of the test: reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. By 2010, that number had risen to 750,000….

The GED is widely used as a high-school-completion tool by those in the military and in prisons, and by dropouts who are too old for the public school system. Although one-quarter of those who take the test are 16 to 18 years old, the typical GED candidate is 26, has completed 10th grade, and has been out of school nine years, according to ACE data….

Even as the GED is overhauled, scholars continue to debate its value.

Some research has found that GED recipients earn no more than high school dropouts; a 1993 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader found them “indistinguishable” from high school dropouts in the labor market. Other research concludes that they earn moreRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader than dropouts, and nearly as much as those with high school diplomas. But a 2010 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader attributed that added earning power to personal traits and family characteristics that GED passers shared with diploma earners, such as higher levels of parental education.

One of the co-authors of that study, Nicholas S. Mader, said that any next-generation GED program would have to incorporate “soft skills,” such as persistence and study skills, if recipients are to stand a better chance in work and higher education than dropouts….

Shift in Content

When it comes to some postsecondary measures, GED recipients do better than high school dropouts. According to a 2010 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by the Washington-based ACE, 43 percent enroll in certificate or college programs within six years, compared with 20 percent of those who don’t pass the test and 64 percent of high school graduates. But few complete more than a year of coursework.

A 2009 studyRequires Adobe Acrobat Reader by the ACE followed 1,000 people who took the GED and found that only 307 had enrolled in postsecondary education five years later. Three-quarters dropped out after one semester, and only 17 completed a degree or certificate.

Such outcomes have fueled criticism of the widespread view that a GED is “equivalent” to a high school diploma….

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/11/16/12ged.h31.html?tkn=OLNF%2BDEky%2BnV0%2B%2FJLiSY2K1xeBkjdbsk1elT&cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS1

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.”

Resources:

GED Testing Service

http://www.acenet.edu/AM/Template.cfm?Section=GED_TS&CFID=4438019&CFTOKEN=45604581&jsessionid=1630edd8748a$D9$60$C

Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2008 Compendium Report

December 2010 http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011012.pdf

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©