June 21, 2010 04:01 pm
May 03, 2017 11:08 am
Undocumented Immigrant Students: Can the Nation Avert an Education, Economic, and Moral Crisis Affecting Millions of Young People?
Imagine waking up to the news that millions of students disappeared overnight. Think of the incalculable cost to the nation of these young people not continuing their education. The patents never filed. The medicines never discovered. The companies never started. The disposable incomes never spent to create more jobs. All the lost human potential, brainpower, and economic contributions that these millions of future wage earners could provide during a time when the nation needs the talents and skills of all its people.
How could this happen, you ask? Already I am hearing reports from principals about the PTA attendance of immigrant families dropping sharply and of parents sending their children to school on alternate days to avoid everyone being picked up in a sweep.
June 21, 2010 04:01 pm
June 16, 2010 06:19 pm
On the heels of the release of the Alliance’s study, several major state newspapers are reporting on the economic benefits that their local metropolitan areas could experience if they were to cut their high school dropout rate in half. In a Salt Lake Tribune story, Pam Perlich, a senior research economist at the University of Utah, responded to the study, saying that the Alliance’s research was in line with other research showing that people with higher levels of educational attainment will have better economic outcomes.
June 16, 2010 04:16 pm
On June 15, the Alliance held the first of its interactive webinars on what’s happening in Washington, DC on education reform. During the webinar, Alliance President Bob Wise discussed the latest developments on Capitol Hill in regard to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind.
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June 15, 2010 07:21 pm
I recently spent two days in West Virginia making presentations for the statewide local education fund, the Education Alliance , about the economic return from boosting high school graduation rates and the necessity of having a college- and career-ready standard as the benchmark. To read more about my discussions there, read my guest post on the organization’s new blog .
The previous week, Governor Joe Manchin called the state legislature into special session to take up eight bills designed to strengthen West Virginia’s run at the second round of the Race to the Top (RTT) competition. After a week of legislative wrestling over the usual issues—charter schools, teacher evaluation, performance pay—everyone agreed to call time out, recess for two weeks, and a working group of the main stakeholders, including the unions, are meeting to see what can be resolved.
June 15, 2010 02:15 pm
In a recent op-ed in The Huffington Post, Bob Wise, President of the Alliance and former governor of West Virginia, and Bob Fulmer, executive director of the Taco Bell Foundation for Teens, discuss the high school dropout crises:
How Cutting Teen Dropout Rates Could Stimulate the Economy
Recently, President Obama had this to say: “This is a problem we cannot afford to accept and we cannot afford to ignore. The stakes are too high — for our children, for our economy, and for our country.”
Was he talking about defense or national security? No. Was he talking about global economic recovery? No. Instead, he was highlighting the silent epidemic that is our national high school drop-out rate.
The sobering fact remains that three out of every 10 students in U.S. public schools still fail to finish high school with a diploma. That amounts to more than 1.2 million students lost from the graduation ceremonies every year, or about 7,000 students lost every day. And it gets worse for minorities. Just 55 percent of Latino, 51 percent of African-American, and 50 percent of Native American students finish high school with a diploma.
Click here to read to read the full piece.
The First 55 Minutes: Defining the National Dropout Crisis with Consistent and Accurate Graduation Rate Calculations
June 14, 2010 02:15 pm
This week, the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center released the latest results of their annual look at high school graduation rates. In the June 10th issue of Education Week, “Diplomas Count 2010: Graduation by the Numbers – Putting Data to Work for Student Success”, EPE provides a look at national, state-by-state, and even district level graduation rates.
The overall message is grim: the slow-but-steady improvement we had been seeing in the last decade has stopped and has now slipped backwards for two years in a row (see the chart to the right). According to EPE, the national graduation rate has fallen almost half of a percentage point to 68.8%. And, though each subgroup actually saw slight improvements (a seemingly contradictory juxtaposition with a declining national rate, but explained by EPE as the result of changing demographics), the gap between white students and students of color remains unacceptably large.
These results are disheartening, but shouldn’t come as a surprise. Though in the past several years the nation has become more aware and committed to the dropout crisis that is threatening the nation’s high schools and their communities, we have only begun to make significant and systemic commitments to improving high schools and addressing the dropout crisis.
When trying to solve a crisis as large and with such significant consequences as the dropout crisis, it’s easy to put the cart before the horse. However, as Einstein famously said, if faced with just one hour to save the world, he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and just five minutes looking for solutions. In the case of the dropout crisis, we have skipped the first 55 minutes and jumped straight into the last five. Sadly, the reason we’ve done this is because we don’t have the information we need to adequately define the problem.
The need for a report such as EPE’s is evidence of this point: EPE’s independent calculations—which are a well-conceived but still best-guess estimate of actual graduation rates—are necessary because we have yet to calculate graduation rates across states and districts using an accurate and consistent calculation method. (To read more about this issue and the different calculations currently in use by states, see the Alliance’s page on “Federal High School Graduation Rate Policies and the Impact on States” here).
A first significant step to rectify this information void was taken in 2008 when the U.S. Department of Education issued regulations requiring that states use an accurate and common calculation method to measure the graduation rate in their high schools. However, states aren’t required to report graduation rates using this calculation method until the 2010-11 school year and several have received waivers to postpone the transition to the new calculation because they do not have the data systems in place to allow for such a calculation.
Of course, compliance is key and the 2008 regulations will only prompt consistent and accurate graduation rate reporting if states fully comply. Therefore, despite the progress we’ve made with the establishment of the regulations, the onus remains on states and the U.S. Department to be vigilant and committed to implementing them. Without the data that the regulations promise to provide, we’ll face a tough climb trying to move the dropout crisis past the first 55 minutes and into the solutions.
Incidentally, a part of the solution, the 2008 regulations also required that states set meaningful goals for improving graduation rates and hold schools accountable for meeting those goals. Stay tuned for more posts on what this means, what states have pledged to do, and if we’re ready to face the reality that accurate graduation rates could present, especially to districts and states that are currently using particularly egregious calculation methods.
June 09, 2010 09:20 pm
Back in January, the Alliance for Excellent Education released a blockbuster new study that provided convincing evidence for reducing the high school dropout rate in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. The study, supported by State Farm ®, found that if high school dropout rates were cut in half in Baltimore, for example, which had a total of 9,700 students dropout in 2008, then the “new graduates” in the Baltimore metropolitan area would likely have:
June 06, 2010 02:05 am
On June 2, 2010 the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers released the common core state standards at an event held at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia. The English language arts and mathematics standards for grades K–12 were developed in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders including content experts, states, teachers, school administrators, and parents. The standards establish clear and consistent goals for learning that will prepare America’s children for success in college and work. Click on the image to watch video from the event.
Common Core State Standards