Academic Performance in Earlier Grades Reliably Predicts Odds of Graduation, According to Alliance for Excellent Education
Establishing and applying an early-warning system that uses academic indicators to identify students at-risk of dropping out is an effective strategy to improve the nation’s graduation rate, according to a new brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Using Early-Warning Data to Improve Graduation Rates: Closing Cracks in the Education System, by Alliance senior policy associate Lyndsay Pinkus, argues that data regarding students’ academic performance is more accurate at predicting the odds of dropping out than the more traditionally accepted socioeconomic factors and life experiences. Additionally, efforts to prevent early school-related risk factors improve the likelihood students will remain in school and earn a diploma.
“When a car’s warning light goes on, we immediately seek help,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia. “Many students heading back to school this week are already showing warning signs that require immediate action. Dropping out is not inevitable. The sooner we can use academic data to identify at-risk students early in their education, and then use the same data to meet their needs, the more likely they are to stay in school and graduate. The good news is that we can; the urgent news is that we must.”
The Alliance’s brief looks at the most accurate early-warning indicators and considers how to develop effective early-warning systems, how to put this data to work so that students’ deficiencies are addressed, and how to use the data effectively at the school and district levels.
The brief also examines policies to support the implementation of these systems as well as implications for federal policy that supports the innovative use of academic data to make effective decisions about education policy and practice.
Using Early-Warning Data to Improve Graduation Rates: Closing Cracks in the Education System is available here.
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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life.
For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit: www.all4ed.org .