What Does it Take to Put All Students on the Graduation Path?
What Does it Take to Put All Students on the Graduation Path? NAF Next 2012 Robert Balfanz Everyone Graduates Center School of Education Johns Hopkins University
We are at the start of what promises and needs to be a transformational decade in American Public Education. Common college and career ready standards Next generation assessments and state accountability Individual level longitudinal data Smart integration of technology Advancements in teacher quality
But millions of students are still attending high-poverty schools where: Achievement gaps become achievement chasms High school graduation is not the norm Few high school graduates complete college
This Can Not Continue There is no work for young adults without a high school degree And no work to support a family without some post-secondary schooling or training As a result entire communities are being cut off from participation in American society and a shot at the American Dream. This weakens the Nation
It Also Results in Concentrated and Intergenerational Poverty 81% of adolescents with parents who have less than a high school degree live in low income families 27% of adolescents with at least one parent who has some college or more education live in low income families
How Big is the Nation’s Graduation Challenge? Four Million High School Students in Class of 2010 Three Million Students Received Diplomas 75% Overall Graduation Rate 60% Graduation Rate for low income- minority students Grad Gap = One Million students without high school diplomas Nation has gone from 1st to 12th in 25-34
The Good News We Know Why Students Dropout We Know Which Schools They Dropout From We Know the Warning Signs that Students Are Falling Off the Path to Graduation We Know that Progress is Possible
There are Four Main Types of Dropouts Life Events (forces outside of school cause students to dropout) Fade Outs (students do ok in school but stop seeing a reason for staying) Push Outs (students who are or perceived to be detrimental to others in the school) Not Succeeding in School, School Not Succeeding with the Student
To Move the Graduation Rate to 90% by 2020 We Will Need 600,000 More Graduates: Where Will We Get Them? 1640 (12%) of high schools with graduation rates of 60% or less produce half the nation’s dropouts 3000 high schools (25%) with graduation rates between 61 and 75% produce 35% of the nation’s dropouts The 10,000 high schools (2/3rds) with graduation rates greater than 75% produce just 15% of dropouts
We Know Where the Nation’s Low Graduation Rate High Schools are Located About half are located in high poverty neighborhoods in the Nation’s cities The other half are mainly located throughout the South and Southwest-rural low wealth counties, small towns and urban fringe Every state has one 25% are in single high school-school districts
Concentration and Spread ofNation’s Low Graduation Rate High Schools
Future Dropouts can be Readily Identified in Significant Numbers as Early as 6th Grade The Primary Off-Track Sixth Graders (1996-97) with an Early Warning Indicator Indicators for Potential 100% Attendance Dropouts:• Attendance - <85-90% % of 80% Behavior school attendance students who are on- 60% Math Literacy track to 40%• Behavior - “unsatisfactory” graduation behavior mark in at least 20% one class 0% h h h h ar th th th n 6t 7t 8t 9t io ye 10 11 12• Course Performance – A at 1 du + ra final grade of “F” in Math G Grade in School and/or English or Credit- Bearing High School Course Sixth-grade students with one or more of the indicators may have only a 15% to 25% chance of graduating from high school on time or within one year of expected graduation. Note: Early Warning Indicator graph from Philadelphia research which has been replicated in 10 cities. and Liza Herzog, Johns Hopkins University; Philadelphia Education Fund Robert Balfanz
In High Poverty School Districts,75% or More of Eventual Dropouts can be Identified between the 6th and 9th Grade Percent of Dropouts That Can Be Identified between the 6th and 9th grade-Boston Class of 2003 End of 6th Grade 24% End of 9th Grade 43% No Off Track 32% Indicator 6th-9th Grade
Major Findings Students in high-poverty schools who successfully navigate grades six through 10 on time and on track, by and large, graduate from high school (75% or higher graduation rates). Students in high-poverty schools who struggle and become disengaged in the early secondary grades and in particular have an unsuccessful 6th- and/or 9th- grade transition do not graduate (25% or less graduation rates).
Post-Secondary Success Appears to be Strongly Related to a Strong 9th Grade YearSneak Peak from Forthcoming Report onPost-Secondary Success Indicators withAlliance for Excellent Education: “In a major state to have a 75% chanceof post- secondary attainment - 9th gradersneeded to attend 95% of the time, havea B average, no course failures, nobehavioral incidents, and be on age forgrade. Only 20% of the cohort reachedthese milestones.”
Solutions Exist and Break Through Progress is Possible In the last decade about a quarter of states and the largest 100 cities have made substantial progress in increasing their graduation rates 25% more have made some progress, 25% have more or less stayed the same, and 25% have gone backwards National Graduation Rate increased from 72 to 75% (120,000 more graduates)
Change in Graduation Rates, 2002– 2009 Half the states move forward. Half do not. Progress Challenge
If learning is inherently joyful andexciting, and students want tosucceed,why do we have these outcomes?
Because by and large the schoolsthey attend are not designed ororganized to meet the educationalchallenges they face.
Three Hypotheses on Why We underestimate the degree or nature of these schools’ educational challenges. We do not design schools attuned to the developmental needs of students in general and students who live in poverty in particular. We do not integrate efforts to make attending school worthwhile with efforts to make schools places where students
What we face is a giant engineeringchallenge of creating schoolsdesigned to meet the challenge ofgraduating all students preparedfor college and career andwithin them getting the rightsupport to the right students atthe right time at the scale andintensity required.
Focus on the ABC’s - Attendance Measure chronic absenteeism-students who miss 20 or more days Create programing that compels students to come to school - e.g. most engaged students often found in cognitively rich activities which combine teamwork with performance (Robotics, debate, drama, chess etc.) Build attendance problem solving capacity within schools and in
Focus on ABC’s - Behavior and Effort Model and teach resiliency and self- management/organization skills Model and teach staying out of trouble skills Build Success Scripts in student’s heads (effort leads to success), work to undermine Failure Scripts (life is capricious, withholding effort keeps you psychologically safe)
We need to be honest that in over-stressed and under-supportedenvironments there is a gap betweenteachers having highexpectations and students havinghigh aspirations and a strong beliefthat they will be realized. Thisleads to diminished effort.
To Combat This We Need to BuildCapacity at Teacher, School, and District Levels Teachers-collaborative, diagnostic, and intervention skills (not a GP but House) Districts and States-managing a portfolio of schools with different structures based on need and partners that provide capacities
Focus on ABC’s - Course Performance Provide course coaching-assistance, support, and on occasion even advocacy which enables students to succeed in their courses-including monitoring assignment completion, and preparation for tests and quizzes, and help with catching up when absent Make sure tutoring efforts are linked tightly with needs and expectations of student’s courses- (don’t work on
Focus on ABC’s – Policy Schools and communities need to measure and act on chronic absenteeism-the number of students who miss a month or more of school (also measure those who miss a week or less) Schools and communities need positive behavior support programs and alternatives to suspensions and may need to re-examine their disciplinary policies Schools and communities need effective second chance and credit recovery programs which hold students accountable but provide a reason for them to keep trying Need to measure students who dropout of school before high school
The Importance of NAF and CTE Core strategy for “Fade Outs” by establishing clear pathways from high school to adult success Provides more opportunities for students to learn effort leads to success “Minds On” work provides a reason for students to come to school Demonstrates the power of adult collaboration-teams of adults working together to create effective learning environments can achieve more in high
We Will Know We Are Making Progress When . . . Schools have strong prevention strategies and cultures that encourage students to attend, behave, and try Schools have readily accessible and teacher friendly early warning systems and diagnostic tools to understand the academic and socio-emotional needs behind student disengagement Schools are organized so teams of teachers work with manageable numbers of students, supported by a second shift of adults, with time built in and honored during the school day for collaborative data-driven work Clear and supported pathways to college and career readiness at the scale and intensity required from sixth
For More Information Visit the Everyone Graduates Center website at www.every1graduates.org E-mail Robert Balfanz at firstname.lastname@example.org