What works to prevent dropouts

Middle College High School, a program that lets students earn high school credits while attending community college, ineffective at boosting graduation rates, concludes What Works Clearinghouse, which found only one study that meets scientific criteria.

Another dropout prevention program, Twelve Together, produced “potentially positive effects” in keeping students in school but not in helping them progress academically. The program organizes weekly after-school discussion groups for middle and early high school students.

Group discussions are based on student interest, usually focusing on personal, family, and social issues. The program also offers homework assistance, trips to college campuses, and an annual weekend retreat.

Again, What Works found one scientifically valid study of the program.

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Comments

  1. As a drop out from Santa Ana Valley High School I’ve spent time reflecting on the reason that I left. To cut to the chase, there was no challenge. In algebra I was told “we don’t question, we do” after querying the reason a certain procedure was done. In grammer class I sat in the back of the room reading the “Great Books of the Western World” that my father had bought for additional education while the female teacher engaged in nervous joking with my teenage classmates. After dropping out of school and joining the Navy during Vietnam, I inquired about the possibility of a GED, not knowing what one was. I took the test, passed everything above the 70th percentile and didn’t realize that the first test was an evaluation test. Osmosis must have been in operation somewhere because I attended class about a quarter of my last semester. The reason that I bring up the GED is because I was by no means unteachable yet the biggest memory that I have from my time in school was the resistance to my moving ahead in any aspect of education. I learned more at home and in the Navy than I did in school.

    Perhaps a preview function if possible, would help.

  2. My brother-in-law dropped out of high school, joined the Navy and got into college on the strength of his very high GED scores.

  3. wahoofive says:

    Seems like almost all dropout-reduction programs are geared toward increasing the butts in the seats of schools so they can extract more money from the state for higher “average attendance”. Coercing somebody to be in the building for four years doesn’t guarantee they’ll learn anything.

    Maybe we should forget the compulsory-attendance thing for high school, and instead put eighth-grade graduates to work at McDonalds for six months, then ask them “Do you want to do this the rest of your life, or get a high school education?”

  4. Frank Zavisca says:

    By definition, 50% of students are “below average”.

    What’s so bad that some children just aren’t capable of getting a high school diploma? Especially a piece of paper that has been shown NOT to have much effect on job performance; that’s why NY City and others have cut back on GED training.

    How about advising WHO should drop out rather than hand wringing about NO person dropping out?

  5. —–Maybe we should forget the compulsory-attendance thing for high school, and instead put eighth-grade graduates to work at McDonalds for six months, then ask them “Do you want to do this the rest of your life, or get a high school education?”

    Or make that part of their 8th grade year.

    But does McDonalds want them?

    And would you want to eat the food prepared by those 13 year olds?

    Otherwise it’s an inspired idea….

  6. —–Maybe we should forget the compulsory-attendance thing for high school,

    Sounds good to me.

    I’ve never been quite clear on the whole concept. Forcing some parents to do what they’d kill or die to do while forcing other parents to do what they’d gladly do just to get the little rat out of the house for a few hours.

    If you roll back the clock a couple of dozen decades it makes sense. Child labor was in competition with unionized labor and on the farm there are never enough hands. I think we can safely say those days are behind us. So, other then inertia, what’s the reason for mandatory attendance?

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  1. […] is they are like mine, short and to the point. She’s asked this evening the question, “What works to prevent dropouts“. My years teaching have been mostly spent at the elementary and middle school levels, so […]