Education News

Warning Data Flags Potential Student Dropouts

Warning Data Flags Potential Student Dropouts

Despite all the efforts to target student dropouts, a national study revealed that many of the programs are not reaching students early enough.

States and school districts nationally have jumped on board to address the dropout rate using “early warning systems.” On a national level, 16 states now produce an early warning system to track students who may not graduate from high school. Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and Oklahoma are the only states to provide direct feedback to teachers on a daily or weekly basis. Additionally 18 states have vowed to adopt their own early warning system.

“A lot of these school districts and states are awash in data,” said John M. Bridgeland, the chief executive officer of Civic Enterprises and a co-author of the study. “The big problem has been using that data in a way that’s useful to teachers, administrators, and community-based nonprofits to target in on kids.”

He goes on to add, “There are a lot of EWS’s (early warning systems) in schools across America, but a lot of them are put in place too late, in 9th grade,” Mr. Bridgeland said. “By the time kids are in 9th grade, a lot of them have already made their decisions about whether they are going to drop out.”

In their continued search for a solution, states and school districts have identified indicators to consider: Attendance, Behavior and Classroom Behavior, otherwise known as the “ABCs” of the system.

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