By Frances Prevatt, Ph.D.
Florida State University
Dropout rates of 30% and higher are common (Council of the Great City schools, 1994)
Nationwide, high school students miss about 10% of their school days (U.S DOE, 92). In larger metropolitan areas, rate may be twice as high.
Estimated annual cost of school dropouts is $800 per taxpayer per year (Joint Economic Committee, 91)
1992 11% of 16-24 year old American youths were dropouts (Mcmillen, Kaufman, Hausken, & Bradley, 1993)
Clements, 91 Definition of dropout: A dropout is considered, by this program, a student who for any reason other than death leaves school before graduation without transferring to another school/institution. Before deciding who a dropout is though, we must define who the actual students are first. One is considered a student if they are in a special program or ungraded program, as in an alternative school. If one is in prison, mental institution, juvenile institution, or adult training center, the person is not considered a student. Those that are above the compulsory education age but have not graduated are also considered students. If a student is switched to another approved school program from his/her primary school program for any reason, they are still considered a student. The hardest thing to do is track these transfers. There isn't a national tracking system and so schools that do not follow-through by sending an official transfer notification end up classifying a student as a dropout instead of just a transfer. Students who die should also not be considered as a dropout. Students who enter the military, on the other hand, before graduation, are considered as a dropout. If one is expelled and does not enroll in another school are recorded as a dropout.
Showed that disruptiveness rated as early as kindergarten was related to droppin gout of school, even controlling ofr SES and IQ (Vitaro, Larocque, Janosz, Tremblay (97)
Showed that aggressive behaviours and low grades as early as first grade predicted later school dropout Ensminger & Slusarick, 1992
Children held back in school were significantly more at risk of dropping out than students not hel back, even after controlling for academic and behavioural problems, as well as family backround (Ciarnes, Cairns, & Neckerman 89) . Rumberger (95) also found that being held back one of most salint predictors of dropping out
Poor attitudes about school seem to correlate with low academic achievement and behavioral problems. (weir, 96)
Thompson, 95 more minorities drop out because they do not make the connection between school and better economic opportunity. There needs to be a way to explain to students the connection between staying in school and getting better jobs.
Servey & Ward (94) More than 80% of the dropouts in their research had been held back at least one grade.
Racial/ethnic minorities (Rumberger, 1987), with Hispanics highest (Velez, 1989) Hispanics drop out at more than twice the rate of non Hispanics (Steinberg et al)
Low SES (Steinberg et al, 1984, Cairnes et al., 89; Ekstrom et al, 86, Ensminger , 92, Frase, 89, Kaufman, 92)
Aggressive students (Cairnes, Cairnes, Neckerman, 89; Ensminger, 92, Kaufman, 92)
Unpopular students (Cairnes, Cairnes, Neckerman et al, 89; Kaufman et al, 92)
Students whose parents do not communicate with school (Barker & Stevenson, 1986)
Students with low self esteem (Rumberger, 1987)
Parents with low educational attainment may be apathetic about school and believe graduation not a necessity for their child (Beck & Muia, 80)
Dropouts (especially Blacks and Hispanics) may think do not have the same educational opportunities as whites (Fine & Rosenberg, 83)
Belief that teachers hold lower class minority in low regard
Family structure disadvantage (single parent, low level of education, large family size, history of dropouts (Astone & McLanahan, 1991; Bachman et al, 1971; Cairns et al, 1989)
More often boys than girls (Rumberger, 1987).
Ethnic minorities NOT more likely when SES controlled for (Cairnes et al, 89, Kaufman et al, 92).
Family process variables (permissive parenting, poor aspirations regarding schooloing, negative reactions to school underachievement (Astone & McLanahan, 91; Fagon & Pabon, 90).
School history of poor grades, grade retention, poor academic motivation, truancy, school problem behavior, poor relationships with students and teachers, less involvement in extracurricular (Bachman et al, 71; Fagon & Pabon, 90; Wehlage & Rutter, 86)
Use drugs more often and have more deviant friends ( Cairnes et al, 89; Rumberger, 83)
Less positive self-perception, less self-confidence, more external LOC (Bachman et al, 71; Rumberger, 83).
Regression analyses tend to show primacy for the school variables (Janosz et al, 97)
In as study of high absenteeism, high course failure Hispanic youth (high risk for dropout) compared to low risk, found: no SES differences, no parent status differences, no differences in students' perception of parent supervision, higher invitation to join gangs, higher number of friends in gangs, more likely to have brought weapon to school, no self concept differences. (Reyes & Jason, 93)
Janusz study with multiple predictors found highest predictive value for school, family, social, behavioral, and psychological measures all good predictors. School experience is best predictor. General picture of dropout = low achieving, poorly motivated, hanging out with friends, more involved in deviant activities, psychologically vulnerable.
McNeal (97) describes micro-level theoretical explanations for dropping out: participation/identification, frustration/self-esteem, rational-choice, social-control, and integration. Underlying each of these is the importance of social context.
McNeal + Pupil teacher ratio and % of minorities (in high school)
Alexander et al (97) tracked children to look a t predictors in first grade of status 14 years later. Linked to later dropout are: stressful home conditions, parent attitudes and values, summer child care arrangements, children's academic and personal adjustment, personality variables including control, first grade tracking.
Home factors appear to be of significant importance in truancy - poor parenting, marital discord, crowding, substandard housing, +number of children, little interest in education, +age of child (Kleine, 94)
Attendance rates in elementary school are highly predictive of dropping out (Hess et al, 89; Nichols & Nichols, 90)
Dropping out is a process, based on lack of identification with the school. Alienation, disengagement based on unfavorable school experiences over time, such as failure, absenteeism, behavior problems. (Finn, 93)
Jordon et al (96). Are two categories of influence- push and pull. Push effects are factors located within the school that negatively impact the connection with the school environment and cause students to reject the idea of schooling. When students fail, are suspended or receive poor grades (e.g., some schools have policies whereby students fail if they miss x number of days or are tardy) , they feel have fallen into a hole from which they cannot climb out of, lose any incentive for continuing, and eventually drop out.
Pull effects include external factors (family, neighborhood groups, religious, health, legal, etc) that may interfere with student success. (having to care for family members, pregnancy, needing to have a job). From a data set of 25,000 students, it was determined that push factors accounted for the most variance in student-reported reasons for dropping out. (not liking school, didn't get along with teachers, couldn't keep up with schoolwork, didn't feel belonged). External reasons showed minimal effects. Did factor analysis of all the reasons for dropping out and came up with 7 scales: Family reasons, School reasons (estrangement, don't like school, don't like teachers, failing), Work, Safety, Suspensions, Mobility, Friendship. Across both gender and ethnic groups, School Reasons are most common for dropping out. Although it was a secondary reason, African Americans had more Suspension related dropouts than any other group.
Bond & Beer (90) (empirical study). Study of 10 th graders over 13 year period. Dropping our is significantly r with: absences, and school enrollment size.
Thomspon, 95 Those who stay in school have relationships in their life that balance out the peer pressure to drop out.
Informed, concerned, involved parents r with children's attitudes towards school and their performance (Viadero, 95)
Higher degree of conformity to school regulations
Social and emotional support from parents to help deal with school rules and conflicts (Delgado-Gaitan, 88)
Higher level of parent educational attainment (Mare, 1980) perhaps because spend more time with children engaged in educational activities.
Mahoney & Cairnes (97) (Empirical Study). 392 children 7th graders. Interviewed every year thru 12th grade. Measures (see measures section). Hypothesized that involvement in extracurricular activities would decrease dropouts. Found a positive association between extracurricular activities and staying in school, particularly for children more at risk for dropping out. Hypothesize that ex. Activity creates positive and voluntary connection to educational institution, gateway into conventional social networks, and promotes individual interests, achievements and goals.
Finn & Rock (97) Describes hypothesis of academic risk and resiliency factors.
Empirical study 1803 minority low income students. Looked at whether engagement in school differentiated those who dropped out. Found that resilient students were more likely: living with both biological parents, parent had higher educational attainment, higher family income, more likely parents employed, parent expectations of amount of schooling expected children to attain. Did not differ in amount of preschool attended, mobility, retentions prior to 8th grade, safety ratings of schools. Found that resilient students had fewer behavior problems, suspensions, use of marijuana, higher self esteem and LOC. Resilient students differed on all teacher and student reports of engagement and homework reports. No differences on extracurricular activities and exc was not r to academic engagement. These effects held even when controlled for psychological characteristics and home background.
Wehlage (empirical study), 91, studies 14 alternate secondary schools enrolling at risk students.. Primary finding is that effective schools provide community of support. School membership, social bonding, educational engagement. Academic achievement must show a payoff for employment. Strategies must meet needs of individual students: e.g., haven from home problems, vocational training, programs for pregnant or parenting teens, opportunities to feel worthwhile (build old homes). Requires strong sense of teacher's professional accountability. Three areas: 1) develop strong alternative schools and programs, 2) reform policies within existing schools, 3) community partnerships.
Reform includes having good information @ students, in of about effects of school policies on students, strive for smaller more personal environments, differing curricula for high risk students, hold schools accountable for at risk students. Good "best practices" article.
Research studies have showed that truant students are more likely to join gangs, use drugs and alcohol, and engage in other criminal and violent behavior than students that stay in school. The Los Angeles County Office of Education reported that chronic absenteeism is the most powerful predictor of future delinquency. Police departments all over also concur that there is a link between truancy and daytime crime rates. The OJJDP Administrator Shay Bilchik says that truancy is usually the first step towards a lifetime of problems. (OJJ report)
Average annual income of dropouts less than ½ that of high school graduates in 1994, half welfare families headed by dropouts, half the prison polulation (Educational Testing Service, 95)
Dropout r with + rates of unemployment, +likelihood of low status, low paying jobs, and disenfranchisement from society (Beck & Muia, 1980; Steinberg et al, 1984, Timberlake, 1982). Also low self-esteem (Tidwell, 1988).
Negative effects on society= forgone national income, lower tax revenues for support of govt. services, + demand for social services, + crime levels, poor levels of health (Levin, 72).
Also depressed self-esteem, dissatisfaction and alientation of dropouts can escalate to disordered, aggressive behaviors and + probility of crime (Larsen & Seltzer, Levin, 72)
Dropping out r with later alcohol abuse in black students (Crum et al., 98)
Alexander et al
Background characteristics, family stressors, parent attitudes and values, parents socialization practices, child's attitudes toward self and school, engagement behaviors, achievement at school, track placements
Janosz et al
Social and Personal Inventory: school and family experience, peer relationships, leisure, beliefs in conventional norms, deviant behaviors.
Academic/school: School grades, Grade retention, Level of stress in school, Disciplinary
Sanctions, Involvement in extracurr. Activities, Commitment to schooling
Parent educational level and SES
Family status: disruption, recency of disruption, working mother, family size, moves.
Parental supervision, punishment, rules, communication, acceptance/identification w/ parents, marital discord, alcohol consumption
Social: Number of friends,Level of involvement with friends,Identification with friends,
Leadership, Exposure to deviant friends
Problem behvaiors, Delinquency, Arrests
Part time job
Eysenck Personality Inventory
Concluded that a brief 7-item measure of grade retention, school achievement, and commitment is sufficient to discriminate most at risk students
Manohey & Cairnes
Yearbooks (to get extracurricular activities participated in)
Interpersonal Competence Scale (teacher) - social behavior and academic competence.
Aggression, Popularity, Academic competence
Dropout-school rosters, queried personnel, students questioned, commencement lists
Problematic school climate: % of students not feeling safe index of theft, vandalism, drugs, rape, & weapons: of verbal and or physical conflict among students and teachers.
School's emphasis on academic achievement: hours of homework done, # of visits by college representatives, AP courses, % teachers with advanced degrees, minimum competency test for graduation.
Reyes & Jason
Piers Harris Self Concept Scale
Structured Interview-family background, family support, overall school satisfaction, gang pressures (see article for exact questions asked)
Sinclair et al 98
Year end enrollment status
Patttern of attendance over time
Teachers ratings of assignment completion
The Teacher Rating of Academic Performance (Christenson et al. 91)
Accrual of school credits
Social Skills Rating System (Gresham & Elliot 90)
Secondary Student Opinion Survey (perceptions of school)
Finn & rock
Achievement test scores
LOC derived from Rotter
Self esteem derived from Rosenberg
Engagement: Three sets, first set reported by teacher 1. how hard the students works (3 ratings by teacher of how hard works for good grades 2. Absent/tardy (missed school, late to school, cut class) 3.Engagement (completes homework, is attentive in class, not disruptive in class Second set reported by student 1. Attendance (missed school, cut class, late, 2 Trouble (got in fights, trouble for not following rules, parents contacted, 3. Prepared ( pencil papers, books, homework done). Third set estimate of homework, sports and extracurricular activities.
Thomspon, 95 Programs such as summer and after-school programs seem to increase communication about the importance of school in students' futures. Offering academic enrichment and other camp activities make learning fun and increase the effectiveness of adult and student interaction. Other programs such as community service opportunities and volunteer service organizations are also ways to increase student morale. Adult support for children working on college and job applications are critical. The GED also gives an alternative opportunity to some students who finishing high school isn't an option.
(Blyth, 91) (Summary of Congressional Testimony) There are limited but compelling data indicating long-term benefits in excess of costs in support of early childhood education for children from low income families. Findings support the value of intensive persoanl development, education, and job-training for high risk dropouts.
No single approach works for everyone. Must be individualized.
Must respond to all systems in a child's life.
Must include building self-esteem. Critical to remove powerlessness and alienation.
Must have partnerships (communitys/agencies etc)
Must have EARLY intervention (prenatal care, infant bonding, nutrition, preschool development).
Every dollar spent on preschool education for low-income children brings savings of 3-6$ in long term costs associated with welfare, remedial education, teen pregnancy, and crime.
Every kid must learn to read by grade 3.
School must make use of family and community resources.
Drop-out efforts should begin early (Sinclair et al, 98)
Systematic, ongoing monitoring of student progress and building a connection between students, families & school personnel have been identified as critical elements of dropout programs (Ascher & Schwartz, 87; Grannis, 91; Presson & Bottoms, 92: Thurlow et al, 95)
Comer, 84 "it is the attachment and identification with a meaningful adule that motivates or reinforces a child's desire to learn (327)."
Presence of a consistent stable relationship with a caring adult is of particular significance for promoting positive outcomes for high risk youth (Masten et al, 90).
Current monitoring in school and communications with parents is for negative behaviors, rather than proactive Sinclair et al (98)
(Mayer, 95). An emphasis must be placed on functional assessments and positive, preventive behavioral interventions. Instructional materials matched to kids' current performance levels. Must program in frequent success. Must involve kids in aftershcool activities. Self-management skills. . Problem solving. Punitive measures are NOT the solution, they merely allow you to gain control while implementing a preventive plan.
Principal's ability to take initiative (Kammoun, 91) in terms of: assess needs, determine course of action, marshal resources, institute program, monitor progress, ensure continuity.
Incentives: for teachers-$10,00 pay differential, students-possibility of academic success
Connell et al (1994) student engagement is the most proximal point of entry in attempts to increase minority students academic achievement and the family is an important target in such interventions.
Hergert (1991). Must include: early identification and intervention of learning disabilities, masterylearning/continuous progress, cooperative elarning, whole language instruction
Barber & Kagey (1970)
Behavioural incentives for attendance: to attend all or part of a monthly party. I, 2, or 3 absences = time in Fun room (movie, puppet show, games, art) . >3 absences = go to workroom to do assignments.
Daily stickers for attendance on chart kept in classroom. Three months baseline followed by one "free" party followed by 3 months experimental followed by 1 month chart only no party. Results showed significant increase in attendance with contingent parties. Can be paid for out of increase in attendance monies from state.
Project Success (Barlowe, 91), Forestville H.S. in Maryland. Teachers have list of things to help at-risk students "develop the confidence to attempt tasks which they have previously declined". 1) Recognize students for doing the right thing: certificates (good attendance, use free time wisely, good behavior). Monthly letter with small reward for <2 absences. Bumper stickers for parents. Accomplishments sent to local newspaper. Names posted on bulletin board for perfect attendance or good grades or pass achievement tests. Pictures on bulletin boards for extracurricular activities. Monthly honor roll luncheon. Awards assemblys every quarter Awards for every possible achievement.
2) Incentive program: tailored to fit individual needs : daily work habits, homework etc, get coupons for lunches etc. 3) Attendance Challenge: Each month name drawn from hat of <2 absences and receive a prize. 4) Pizza party each month with attendance based on coupons received for going to after-school tutoring program. 5) After holiday field trip based on points received for attendance. 6) Regular parent contact by mail and phone, updates on student activities, invite to awards ceremonies, and general info on education (e.g. discipline, dealing with divorce) 7) Poor report card - meet individually with student to come up with plan.
Office of Juvenile Justice web site
This "report" describes a current program that uses three types of truancy reduction strategies, prevention, intervention, and coordination, in an effort to reduce truancy and its eventual by-products of many crime-related problems. This program was awarded to eight sites in the country and they shall by funded with awards that range from $46,671 to $99,912 for over three years. The Office of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Program (OJJDP) will support the evaluations of this program as well. This effort was implemented as of May 12, 1999 in the counties of Contra Costa County, CA; Jacksonville, FL; Clarke County, GA; Honolulu, HI; Suffolk County, NY; Houston, TX; King County, WA and Tacoma, WA. This program is using three implementation strategies: Prevention-fostering public awareness campaigns and other educational efforts in the community. Intervention-improving enforcement of compulsory attendance laws and providing support services for truant youth and their families. Coordination-collaborating between schools, police, probation departments, juvenile courts, community organizations, parents, and teachers
Oklahoma City Public Schools (Borelli, 93)
Saturday tutoring in reading, writing & math. After school tutoring 3 days a week for those who don't have Sat. transportation.
Saturday morning Parent University to help parents develop skills necessary to help their child.
Super Scholars Program identifies children in grade school, offer intensive program for parents to get their child on acadmeic success path. Programs during day, evenings, weekends. Evaluation not described.
Coalition for PRIDE (Chavkin, 91). Joint project of San Marcos ISD and Dept. of Social Work, SWTSU. Goals: increase community involvement, increase attendance, - dropout rate, + graduation rate. Key areas: case management, educator consultation and training, parents, referral system with computerized tracking, utilization of community resources, student self-esteem, tutoring and classroom aide program, mentoring program. Many community agencies are involved or contribute resources. Social work interns have identified numerous community links for providing : nutrition education, legal aide, family planning, child protective services, juvenile detention, psychological services, drug rehab. Each community agency provides form summarizing available services and utilization. The school acts as "broker".
Education Data Improvement Project Clements, 1991 This pilot program is a national effort in order to get all states and schools to agree upon what definitions and procedures should be used to record graduation, and in effect, dropout rates. The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Center for Education Statistics have banded together to do this in what is called the Education Data Improvement Project. This project is focusing efforts on improving the comparability, comprehensiveness, and timeliness of data reported. This data will include graduation rates, pupil/teacher ratios, pupil/staff ratios and current expenditures per pupil. Before recording the number of dropouts in a school and then eventually the state and nation, one must classify all students in one of the categories discussed above. After all students are accounted for, the dropout number can be counted. Students from grades 7-12 should be accounted for. Dropout rates should be collected by race and by gender within race. At-risk students should also be identified. Different calculation methods are currently being tried out in an effort to find the most efficient method. This program is also looking at developing a national effort to record transfers. Parent interaction seems to be extremely important in keeping track of students and policy makers should look at how to increase their support. Tracking dropouts does not solve the problem, but its results will help to monitor the nation's progress in effort to reach the goal of 100 percent graduation rate in the country.
The Breakfast Club (Dickson, 93)
Small groups of 8th grade students (transition of elementary to secondary) at risk meet for 4-week periods to improve study skills and set personal goals 7-7:45. Also shadow a potential employer for a day(provided by Rotarians Club). Upon completions, meet for breakfast at a local restaurant. Taught by vice principal. Components = study skills, reading, spelling, math, test taking, memory, term papers. Evaluation not described.
Project STAR (Finn et al, 89). (empirical) Elementary grade students in classes of 12-17 achieved more academically and were more active participants in learning compared to their peers in classes with 22-27 pupils.
Project Support (Hurley & Lustbader, 97) middle school at risk children (early adolescence, minority neighborhoods, + poverty, + levels of academic failure, high dropout rates). Consisted of several components:
Evaluation component not described in this article, altho stated that it existed.
Dropout Intervention Program (Kammoun, 91)
-in dropout rate, + in graduates going on to college
An Integrated Community Approach to Truancy (Kennedy & Wrobel, 94). 6-7 grades inner city school in Roanoke, Va. Program involves coordination of community based professionals and school-based pupil services professionals: assessment, referral to community services, service planning, case work, emergency needs, home based services, court liaison, health screenings and tx., transportation. Funded internally. State tha 1/3 of cases have been fully effective and 1/3 partially effective with sig, decrease in absenteeism rate.
The Discovery Program ( Lamperes, 94). Centennial High School alternative campus. Outcomes: attendance rate, dropout rate, honor role, GPA. Goals: 1)teach students pro-social skills, 2) create culture of positive relationships, noncoercion, cooperation, 3) flexible approach to scheduling, 4) empower students. Program taught to incoming students every 6 weeks = boot camp, 5 hours per day. Includes general education courses. Utilizes validation of self-worth, social skills, Transactional .Analysis communication skills, conflict resolution, assertiveness, problem solving. Use Goldsteins the Prepare Curriculum, Harris's Im OK, Youre OK, and Glasser, The Quality School. Lots of activities and role play in small groups. (I didn't like this program at all so stopped taking notes here )
Orange county florida (phone interview by Alex Timin) I spoke with Roger Floyd (State Attourney's Office). 16 elementary schools are involved out of about 95 total in Orange Park. The individual schools identify kids with excessive unexcused absences. These students are referred to the state attourney's office. Officers send a letter to the parents informing them that the child has been absent X times. The letter also invites the parents to a meeting at the school. At the meeting, parents meet with a representative of the state (someone from the attourney's office or some other law enforcement official), plus the pricipal or appointed staff, plus a social worker. They discuss the situation with the parents and offer to help. Parents are informed about laws concerning excessive absence. In cases where the child continues to miss school days, the state may prosecute. Most of the time, however, parents want to help their child's education and so get them back in school. If any public assistance is needed, the social worker provides The program has been successful in getting parents to respond. The problem is not that the same few kids are missing days and days of school. Rather, there are LOTS of kids missing a few days here and there (including problems like asthma and head lice). In other words, the intervention seems to work in getting the kid back in school -- once the parents have the meeting, the kid stays in school (few repeat offenders). The problem is that there are so many who need the intervention.
(Servey & Ward,94)
1-6 grades, funded by Alabama Power co., group guidance activities: responsibility, goal setting, decision making, problem solving, academic success, respect for self and others. Also Dream Catchers, a career and education awareness project for 6-7 graders. Project Bridge funded by Montgomery Public Schools and JTPA targets dropouts between 15-21 who want to get GED or return to school. Training in employability and work maturity skills, individual counseling, and health case management.
Sinclair et al 98 ( 94 students in urban school grades 7-8. All identified as LD or SED. At end of 2 year program, ½ randomly selected to receive intervention thru grade 9. Stratification included: ethnicity, ses, SES, disbility, age, "severity" (based on absences, grades, behaviors).
Each child assigned a monitor to check on their progress over the period of the study . Monitors could be grad students, community members, SPED resource teachers, etc. Each 20 hour per week monitor had caseload of 25 students. Monitored for : tardiness, skipping class, absences, behavior referrals, detentions, suspensions, course failures, accrual of credits. Systematically tracked and entered on data sheet for each child. Basic and intensive intervention. Basic = sharing info with the students about the process in general, give specific feedback about their own monitoring, regularly discuss importance of staying in school, problem solve. (stop, think, choose). Intensive = social skills groups, parent problem solving meetings, indivi. Contracts, family mediation for truancy, tutors, changes in classes, teacher meetings, extra curr. Involvement, help find jobs (tried to use existing intervention programs) . Specific interventions decided by parents, youth, and monitor.
See above for measures used
Results: students were more engaged in school , on track to graduate, more class assignments completed. No differences in identification with school. Conclude need to start earlier!
Vitaro, Brendgen, & Tremblay, 1999 Preventive intervention program targeting disruptive behaviours. Two year period 2-3rd grade. Included social skills training and parenting skills (done in home). Small groups of both target and prosocial boys. Also met with teacher to monitor classroom behavior. Parent training modeled after program from Oregon social Learning Center (Patterson et al 75). Many parents terminated prematurely from parenting program. About ½ the teachers refused to participate in the teacher component. Outcome variable -dropping out before age 17. Results: children in program were less disruptive 3 years later. Being retained a grade by age 12 was predicted by: single parent, low IQ, not being in intervention group, , post intervention disruptiveness. Dropping out prior to 17 predicted by: one parent, parent with low education, low iq, . Being in intervention group decreased odds of dropping out by ½, however, this was not statistically significant (due to low sample size). Not being held back predicted not dropping out above and beyond other effects. Risk of drooping out 4 times higher for kids held back a year. (it appears to me that whatever you can do to keep kids from being retained will be most useful, perhaps academic tutoring more useful that decreasing disruptiveness, altho clearly are interrelated)
Weir, 96 Hood Canal School in Shelltown, Washington have a successful at-risk program (?). This school took a sample of the most at-risk middle school students at made them into a school within a school. A special education teacher was employed as the program director for the year. Also involved were two other assistants. In addition, one full time mental health worker employed by the county.
Objectives: flexible curriculum and learning pace, integrate these students at times with other normal students, include cultural community involvement and awareness, conduct in-service for staff. Benefits: increase self-esteem, school-wide programs to increase morale, special programs, improve actual school building
Components: read/write program, interdisciplinary curriculum, daily journals, cooperative learning. Data on evaluation: attitude inventory, self-concept scale, school attendance records, staff interviews, daily contact with staff, informal classroom observations Conclusions: parent support is necessary, self-esteem must increase about how they learn, attendance must improve, hands on projects, better communication and cooperation with contained school and larger school, readiness program, community resources, field trips Recommendations: develop a needs assessment, give names to middle school teachers, application for parents/students to apply to program to avoid negative stigma and increase parent involvement, use audiovisual technical support, use multicultural topics, connect work and school, peer tutoring, computer-assisted component, develop mental health-such as counseling and drug/alcohol awareness and education
Family may be mediating or moderating variable
High predictive ability of school variables may be due to confound between IV and DV's.
Predictive factors for children may be different than for adolescents.
May be subsets of dropouts; not necessarily homogenous group.
Careful consideration of statistical techniques (e.g., structural equation modeling for latent variables or hierarchical modeling for dichotomous dependent variables.
Need to evaluate indirect paths, mediators and moderators, as well as direct individual effects.
Engagement seems to be key concept. See work by Finn.
Community partnerships seem to be key.
Parent involvement key.
Better tracking management information system
In Florida, must include language skills.
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