Tuesday, February 24, 2015

State report on dropouts and graduation rates

Chester "a real tribute to educators in the Commonwealth"
"lowest that it's been in three decades that we're able to compare those rates"

high school a minimum credential: "without that, you're really handicapped in life"
created an early warning index system
districts talking together about what works
community coalitions, credit recovery, social-emotional supports
range of options exist today that did not exist a number of years ago
"Tremendously good news, an improving story"

report from DESE: strict methodology
number of students who graduate in a year divided by those who came into 9th grade four years earlier
what percent of kids at the end of 4 years has graduated?
have been calculating since 2006
86.1% for 2014 4 year cohort
87.7% for 2013 5 year cohort: an additional 2.7% of students graduated
eighth consectuive year of increased 4 year graduation rate

90.9% of white students, 74.9% black students, 69.2% of Latino students
highlight work of urban districts: increase of at least 8% in every category measured
11.6% increase in low income students; 9.7% in ELL;
urban districts have outpaced the state in actual gain in percentage points

dropout rate: summer dropouts (about 1/4 of our dropouts don't come back in the fall) + students who dropout over the year - students who re-enroll, graduate, or get a GED = final dropout count
5,746 dropped out 2013-14: 2% of students in grades 9-12
lowest dropout rate on record
every racial and ethnic group went down in dropout rate
"all the credit in the world to the educators on this"
making most progress in subgroups that are the furthest behind

136 high schools that had a higher dropout rate than the state rate for MassGrad awards
three new Gateway to College programs awards
Coalition Challenge awards
schools brought together in a work group for dropout prevention and re-engagement of students
Early Warning Indicator developed for our school districts

Noyce asks about sustainability of programs as federal grant runs out this year
sustainability: professional development and sharing best practices
make them part of the culture of high schools so it doesn't run out when the seed money does
Craven: did other high schools pop up that need assistance?
did target those with highest dropout rates: have offered what has come out of MassGrad grant to all
Roach: what was most effective?
approach has been multiple pathways: 7-2 in a traditional brick and morter schools doesn't fit the need of all students
can get information about effecacy of specific initiatives
multiple options
Roach: is it practical to think of sustainability? or do we need to be mindful of needing more resources?
try to engrain practices in school district
Roach: "we don't want to go backwards"

Peyser: have been raising statewide standards for graduation at the same time
"even though convention wisdom is that raising standards may result in students leaving the system, the opposition is true"
Chester: majority of post 10th grade dropouts have met MCAS requirement
looking at students at greatest risk of not persisting most looked at by districts and schools

McKenna: if we could understand the efficacy of the various interventions and the costs, in terms of sustainability

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