It Pays to Do the Right Thing
Are you trying to convince others in your school, neighborhood or company that it’s time to do more to address the dropout problem? Two new studies can help. Both show that what’s good for students is also good for the country.
At Columbia University’s Teacher’s College, economists found that if we cut the number of high school dropouts in half, U.S. taxpayers would reap $45 billion. See “The Costs and Benefits of an Excellent Education for America’s Children” (January 2007).
How do they say this can get done? The study looked at five cost-effective strategies for boosting high school graduation rates. The best interventions, they say, have these features: small school size; high levels of personalization; high academic expectations; strong counseling; parent engagement; extended-time school sessions; competent and appropriate personnel.
In The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools, a study by the Alliance for Excellent Education, you can find out more about the costs of national dropout rates and what’s at stake for your state: http://www.all4ed.org/publications/HighCost.pdf.
Just the Facts
Data for every county and service center in Texas. Each year, IDRA releases detailed findings of attrition rates in Texas public schools. You can look up rates for your county or education service center region or learn about statewide attrition rates at: http://www.idra.org/Research/Attrition/.
A student drops out of high school every 29 seconds. More quick facts and a policy primer on the issue are available online at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Strong American Schools “Ed08” Campaign launched in April and funded by The Gates Foundation and The Broad Foundation.
Congressional Testimony: “It’s time to make graduation from high school the new universal minimum!” IDRA Executive Director, Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, testifies to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor (April 23, 2007) on a comprehensive strategy to raise graduation rates. Here is the written statement.
Around the country, support is growing for a comprehensive approach to raising graduation rates. Among other policy developments, the Graduation for All Act introduced by Representative Rubén Hinojosa focuses on increasing adolescent literacy as a cornerstone of graduation and school success. The Graduation Promise Act introduced by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Ted Kennedy (D-MA) seeks to raise graduation rates and academic outcomes through targeted capacity building in high-priority high schools. For an update on other proposals, check out the Alliance for Excellent Education’s
Straight A’s: Public Education Policy and Progress Vol. 7, #9.
New Podcast Series: More ways you can strengthen schools
IDRA has launched a new award-winning podcast series with a full set of tips on improving education in the United States. Several episodes focus on keeping kids in school. Go to http://www.idra.org/Podcasts/ to listen online or subscribe (free).
Quote of the month: "I am college material." What a middle school student in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program etched into the cover of her notebook during a college tour.
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Graduation for All Coordinator
Intercultural Development Research Association
5835 Callaghan Road, Suite 350
San Antonio, TX 78228