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Struggling Teens

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Youth Who Drop Out

Resources  -  More Information on Dropouts

If Your Teen Begins to Fail in School  -  Universal Education

 

 

Young people who don't complete high school face many more problems in later life than do people who graduate.  While national leaders have demanded that schools, communities, and families make a major effort to retain students, the dropout rate remains high.  A report from the Educational Testing Service, One-Third of a Nation: Rising Dropout Rates and Declining Opportunities, warns little is being done to stem rising dropout rates and their economic costs.  This report also found:

  • From 1990 to 2000, the high school completion rate declined in all but seven states. In 10 states, it declined by 8 percentage points or more.

  • In high school completion rates, the United States has now slipped to 10th place in the world.

  • On average, only one certified counselor is available for each 500 students in all schools, and one counselor to 285 students in high schools. And they have many assignments that leave little time to spend with students at risk of dropping out.

  • A "bulge" in enrollments in Grade 9 indicates more students nationally are being flunked to repeat Grade 9. This may be reflected in the significant shift toward younger, less educated dropouts than in the past, that face more difficulty in getting jobs.

  • In 1971, male dropouts, working full time, earned $35,087 (in 2002 dollars), falling to $23,903 in 2002, a decline in earnings of 35 percent. Earnings for female dropouts fell from $19,888 to $17,114.

  • There has been a shift in the awarding of GED credentials to younger individuals, and the program has been revised to make it more rigorous.

 

 

 

Franklin P. Schargel, Tony Thacker, and John S. Bell, authors of From At Risk to Academic Excellence: What Successful Leaders Do, believe that America's schools can improve and present examples of excellence -- educational leaders who firmly believe that all children can succeed, schools that effectively meet the needs of nontraditional learners, and educational communities that don't give up on students who are at risk of dropping out.  In their book, the authors identify individual risk factors -- personal characteristics, habits, and experience; family situations; and peer and community relationships -- and then address the factors over which school leaders can more directly influence -- school climate and culture, school connectedness, school safety, attendance, and school achievement.

 

Risk Factors of Dropping Out

 

Previous School Experience

  • Absent 20 or more times during the previous school year

  • Retained in at least one grade

  • Low grades (Cs and Ds or below)

  • Disciplinary problems or disruptive behavior

  • Has attended five or more schools during a lifetime

Personal or Psychological Characteristics

Adult and Family Responsibilities of Student

  • Has a child

  • Must work to help support the family

Family Background and Cohesion

Parental discipline, monitoring, concern, encouragement, and consistency have also be linked to academic achievement.  Children whose parents consistently set high standards work harder and do better in school.  Additionally, an authoritative parenting style, characterized by warmth and concern coupled with boundaries (i.e., clear rules and limits), has been shown to have a positive effect on academic achievement.

 

School-Caused Risk Factors

  • Ineffective discipline system

  • Overburdened school counselors

  • Negative school climate

  • Retention and/or suspensions used to control discipline, rather than addressing causes

  • Disregarding student learning styles

  • Passive instructional strategies

  • Lack of relevant curriculum

  • Low expectations of student achievement

  • Fear of school violence

Excerpted from From At Risk to Academic Excellence: What Successful Leaders Do by Franklin P. Schargel, Tony Thacker, and John S. Bell.

 

 

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Resources

 

GED Testing Service ~  About 96% of U.S. employers accept the GED credential as equal to a traditional high school diploma.  For more information, call 1-800-626-9433.

 

National Center for School Engagement ~ Resources on school attendance, attachment, and achievement.

 

National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities ~ Supports the national implementation of provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide successful school outcomes for students with disabilities.

 

National Dropout Prevention Centers ~ Research centers and resource networks to help meet the needs of youth in at-risk situations.

 

 

Read All The Books

 

From At Risk to Academic Excellence:  What Successful Leaders Do

by Franklin P. Schargel, Tony Thacker,

John S. Bell

The authors believe that America's schools can improve and present examples of excellence -- educational leaders who firmly believe that all children can succeed, schools that effectively meet the needs of nontraditional learners, and educational communities that don't give up on students who are at risk of dropping out.

 

More Books & Helpful Products

 

 

 

More Information on Dropouts

 

15 Effective Strategies for Dropout Prevention ~ The basic core strategies are mentoring / tutoring, service learning, alternative schooling, and after-school opportunities.

 

Dropout Nation ~ The reasons why students drop out of school with special attention to Native American students.

 

Fostering a Love for Reading: An Investment in the Future

 

Locating the Dropout Crisis (pdf) ~ Which high schools produce the nation's dropouts?  Where are they located?  Who attends them?

 

Numbers & Rates of Public High School Dropouts: School Year 200405 ~ Among the findings:  There were 540,382 public school students who dropped out of grades 912 in school year 200405 in the 50 states.  California, New York, and Texas had the highest number of grade 912 dropouts, with more than 43,000 dropouts each.

 

School Dropout Rates Add to Fiscal Burden ~ Not only are high school dropouts a cost to the economy - $320-$350 billion a year in lost wages, taxable income, health, welfare and incarceration costs, but a cost to themselves as well.  Dropouts are not eligible for 90 percent of the jobs in our economy.

 

The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts (pdf) ~ A primary purpose of this report is to approach the dropout problem from a perspective that has not been much considered in past studies that of the students themselves.

 

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