Changing context of high school dropout and completion by xyd32971


									Changing context of high
          p            p
school dropout and completion

    Amy Reschly, Ph.D.
             y        g
    University of Georgia

 State of the field
   Changing context
   Initiatives and reforms – unintended consequences
   Predictors of dropout and completion
   Student engagement & intervention
Why are we focused on school
Dropout “something of a national obsession” (Finn, 1989)
National Education Goals

   Accountability and Outcomes
High Stakes for
  Schools and Districts
       Reschly & Christenson, 2006
Other Headlines…

 the first time in our nation s history, students are less
 likely to graduate than their parents
      40713 h l
 some states are preparing for lower post-secondary
 attendance due to high dropout rates
      (Hughes, 2008)
 the upside to the economic downturn of 2008/2009 was
 that dropouts are dropping back in
In Georgia

“State’s High School Graduation Rates in ‘Crisis’” –
    bottom 5 along with Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina
Dropout C i i I a S
D                       id Problem
        Crisis Is Statewide P bl

State Systems t t k students fl
St t S t                          d
              to track t d t flawed

                               $16 7
Cost of 2009 Georgia dropouts: $16.7 billion by one estimate
      High Stakes
    more likely to live in poverty,
    be dependent on welfare and other government assistance
    have health problems,
    engage in criminal behavior and be incarcerated, and
         i             l            d      l
    experience unemployment or underemployment
         Christenson et al., 2001
Changing Context
High Stakes….
  Schools and Districts
     Indicator of school effectiveness
     I di       f h l ff i
     No Child Left Behind
     Rouse (2005) estimated th t each dropout, over the course of their
     R                 ti t d that     hd       t       th          f th i
     lifetime, will cost the nation approximately $260,000
     It is estimated that each year of dropouts costs the United States more
     than $250 billion during their lifetimes in lost earnings and taxes
  Our future
     Many examples of policy reports, white papers that illustrate this
              Perfect Storm, Sil t Epidemic
        ETS A P f t St       Silent E id i
     Job opportunities for those without a high school education
     disappearing; Importance of post-secondary education increasing;
     competing in technological, global economy
Preventing Dropout or Promoting
Important distinction

  Increasing the successful completion of school is much more
  than simply staying in school, and thus, much more than the
          py y g
  dropout problem – it involves meeting the defined academic
  standards of the school, as well as underlying social and
  behavioral standards.

Focus must be on ensuring completion with competence

  Christenson et al., 2001; Reschly & Christenson, 2006; Reschly, Appleton, &
  Christenson, 2009
Trends and Unintended Consequences?

Grade Retention and NCLB
   Retention vs. social promotion debate (neither option
   At a minimum, ineffective and expensive as an
   intervention, many studies find negative effects
   Connection to special education, dropout

 Increasing retentions & AYP for high school graduation?
 i                                  i
High stakes assessments and graduation tests
  Achievement and ensuring completion with competence
  through HSGTs
      One study in TX found that the accountability system increased
    dropout rates == giving the appearance of improved achievement
    and closing the white-minority achievement gap, schools earned
    higher ratings (McNeil, McSpadden, Coppola, & Helig, 2008)
              y                                 p        g
     Tests may have a differential effect on dropout among those
    from poor, minority backgrounds
        (Borg, Plumlee, Stranahan, 2007)

  Prevention and early intervention, provide support for
  meeting standards
Initiatives to Raise the Compulsory School
                  g (
  Attendance Age (CSAA)      )
  A number of states have raised or are considering
  this changeg
  But, expensive to enforce; following students and
  defining dropout still an issue in many states;
  does not address reasons why students want to
                   p           pp
  leave school or provide support to meet standards;;
  little evidence for efficacy
    Landis & Reschly, 2009
Using a national dataset and 3 years of data we
     i d          fd           d      l i b
examined rates of dropout and completion by
CSAA and CSAA/region; Also looked at
individual states that recently changed CSA laws.
   CSAA had a small relationship with the timing of
  dropout but no meaningful relationship with high
  school graduation.
  Also, no discernable pattern of reductions in dropout
  rates was evident for states that raised their attendance

Landis & Reschly, 2009

    Types, National and regional differences
Different types of statistics
  Event, Status, Cohort
  Recently Average Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR)
Factors that affect statistics
  Grade levels included in the report, how students who
  drop out in the summer are counted, which groups of
  students included, etc.
       Wolman, Bruiniks, & Thurlow, 1989
Dropout/Completion Statistics
 Event: Approx. 4 out of every 100 students who
 were enrolled in high school in Oct 2004 left
 school prior to October 2005
 Status: 3.5 million 18-24 year olds not enrolled in
 hs and had not earned a diploma or GED. 9.4% of
 16 to 24 year olds in the U.S. in 2005
 The national cohort freshman graduation rate for
 public school students in 2003-04 was 75%
     (Laird t l
     (L i d et al., 2007)
Laird et al., 2008. NCES

    Who drops out of school?
National Dropout and Completion Rates

                   Dropout   Completion

Asian/Pacific       3.8%     94.6%
White, Non-Hispanic 6.9%     91.8%

Black              13.1%
                   13 1%     83.7%
                             83 7%
Hispanic           27.8%     64.1%

In 2006, students from low-income families had an event dropout rate 4 ½
times greater than the event rate of students from high income families
(Laird t l 2008).
(L i d et al., 2008)
The status dropout and completion rates, respectively, among Hispanics
16-24 years of age are 22.1% and 70.9%, followed by Black (10.7%,
84.8%), White (5.8%, 92.6%), and Asian/Pacific Islander (3.6%, 95.8%;
Laird et al., 2008).
Between 1979 and 1999, the number of students who spoke a language
other than English in the home doubled. Of those ages 18 to 24, language
minority students were much less likely to have completed high school
than native English speakers (31% vs. 10%; Klein, Bugarin, Beltranena, &
McArthur, 2004).
                           y ,
In the 2005-06 academic year, 56.5% of students with disabilities
graduated with a regular high school diploma. The event dropout rate for
students with disabilities in 2005-06 was 26.2%. Across disability
categories, the highest dropout rate was found for students with Severe
Emotional Disturbance (44.9%), followed by those with a Specific
Learning Disability (25.1%), Speech or Language Impairment (22.7%),
and Mental Retardation (22.3%; Planty et al., 2008).
Predictors of Dropout
Status vs. Alterable Variables
  Students less likely t       l t h l if
  St d t l lik l to complete school if:
      Hispanic, Native American, or African-American descent,
      low-SES backgrounds,
      low SES
      live in single parent homes,
      Have a sibling or parent that dropped out,
      have disabilities,
      or live in the Southern and Western regions of the U.S
                          student family
   Alterable variables at student, family, and school levels

Reschly & Christenson, 2006
 Students - Protective and Risk Factors
    Complete homework         High rate of absences
    Come to class prepared    Behavior problems
    High locus of control     Poor academic
    Good self-concept         performance
    Expectations for school
      p                       Grade retention
    completion                Working
                              No extra curricular

Reschly & Christenson, 2006
Family – Protective and Risk Factors

    Parental monitoring g          Low educational
    Availability of learning       expectations
                        (e g
    Academic support (e.g., help
    with homework) and             Permissive parenting
    motivational support (e.g.,    styles
    high       t ti     t lk t
    hi h expectations, talk to     Low contact with school
    children about school) for
    learning                       Lack of conversations
                                    b t h l
                                   about school

Reschly & Christenson, 2006
 Schools – Protective and Risk Factors

    Orderly school environments         Weak adult authority
    Committed, caring teachers          Large school size (>1,000
    Fair discipline policies            students)
    O         ii f i        l
    Opportunities for involvement
                                        High pupil-teacher ratios
    Relationship with one caring
    adult                               Few caring relationships
                                        between staff and students
                                        Poor or uninteresting
                                            i l
                                        Low expectations and
       Reschly & Christenson, 2006
                                        high rates of truancy
Also consider Push/Pull Effects (Jordan, McPartland, & Lara, 1999)
                 p           y          y
Prediction of dropout in early elementary school based on
attendance, behavior, academic performance – especially
reading, and attachment to school
     Alexander, Entwisle   Horsey                     Hendricks
     Alexander Entwisle, & Horsey, 1997; Barrington & Hendricks, 1989;
     Ensminger & Slusarcick, 1992; Lloyd, 1978

Many of the serious warning signs present later in high
school, such as failing courses and high-stakes
assessments and significant behavior problems, were
preceded by less severe forms of withdrawal present in
elementary and middle school
   Engaging students at school and with
                (                          y
Brief overview (from Christenson, Reschly et al., 2008))
  Engagement: Our theoretical model for understanding dropout and
  completion, cornerstone of interventions that successfully promote
  More recently, the basis of high school reform initiatives (e.g., 2004
  NRC & IM book)
  M l idi       i l
      Affect, behavior, cognition, and academic (Appleton et al., 2006;
      Christenson et al., 2008; Reschly & Christenson, 2006)

  Dropout is best understood as a gradual process of disengagement
  across years

  “Currently, we know considerably more about
  who drops out than we do about the essential
  intervention components for whom and under
  what conditions.”          Christenson et al., 2001

Dynarski & Gleason, 2002
Lehr et al., 2003
Prevatt & Kelly, 2003
    Highlights from Recent Reviews

Interventions are often research based; few grounded in
Focus is generally on change within students rather than
in the important contextual influences – schools
families, peers
Despite what we know about dropout being a long-term
process of disengagement, most interventions delivered
at the secondary-school level – a time when the problems
are at the most severe levels and our interventions are
least likely to be effective
Highlights continued…

 Few interventions have been replicated
 Despite the very high dropout rate among students
 with high incidence disabilities – few
 interventions that include this population of
 Many practices commonly used by schools are
                        programs             Gleason
     (review of federal programs, Dynarski & Gleason, 2002)
Moving forward

 There is evidence that comprehensive,
 individualized, long-term interventions positively
 affect school completion among youth
     (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004).

 I           f    l i                di ii i
 Importance of evaluating programs and initiatives
 Draw from promising practices
What’s promising

Dynarski & Gleason (2002)
    Provided extra personal support for students
    Created smaller and more personal settings
    Need more intensive interventions
  Other promising practices may include
    early reading interventions, tutoring, counseling,
    mentoring, caring environments and relationships,
             g,      g                              p,
    block scheduling (Lehr et al., 2003)
Essential elements
    l              f       d       db h          bl
Early intervention for academic and behavior problems.
Positive climate of caring and support between students and
Curricular connections with students interests and goals
Collaboration and connections to the larger community
Availability f h l f     t d t          l    bl
A il bilit of help for students personal problems
Opportunities for academic success and the provision of
individual assistance.
  Jimerson, Reschly & Hess (2008)
     (Drawn from Anderson, Christenson & Lehr, 2004; McPartland, 1994;
     Schargel & Smink, 2001)

Promote these elements at the school level, within
classrooms, and for more intensive individualized
i t     ti
     (for more information, see Jimerson et al., 2008)
Recall alterable variables related to school
completion at student, family, and school levels

Christenson’s (2008) distinction between
demographic and functional risk
Key for Schools and Districts

 systematic monitoring of all students for signs of
   such as attendance and behavior problems, failing courses, off
       ki           f di          d      d    d i l l l f
   track in terms of credits earned toward graduation, low levels of
   participation, problematic or few close relationships with peers
   and/or teachers,
 following up with those who are at risk

      (Anderson, Christenson   Lehr                  Christenson
      (Anderson Christenson, & Lehr, 2004; Reschly & Christenson,

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