There is more and more evidence that the number of high school drop outs across the United States is increasing.
- In Texas, researchers from Rice University found that “Texas’s public school accountability system, the model for the national No Child Left Behind Act, directly contributes to lower graduation rates.”
- A recent article in Ed Tech Magazine (March, 2008) suggests that the use of technology would help those who dropped out and perhaps cause students to be more engaged in their learning.
- The “Drop Out” factory map here shows it visually.
- Robert Balfanz and his team from Johns Hopkins University say that a third of all high school students drop out in the U.S. You can download the schools in your area that are labeled “drop out factories” in their database.
- Russell Rumberger and his team at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as part of the California Droput Research Project continue to examine state and national trends and offer some solutions. Their latest policy brief highlights the importance of high school students having an adult mentor who cares about them. Here are video excerpts of students talking about why they dropout of high school.
- The Gates Foundation completed this dropout report in 2006 which interviewed dropouts and offered some solutions.
- The “Silent Epidemic” is a website that further illustrates the problem.
- The National DropOut Prevention Center is another place for ideas and resources.
- The Communities in Schools project offers solutions, and you should read Bill Milliken’s book, The Last Dropout (2008).
The dropout crisis is a community problem, not just a school problem. So, what are the solutions? What part can technology play in changing this pattern?