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Our policy analysis on "dropping out"

Page history last edited by pjk426@mail.harvard.edu 14 years, 6 months ago

     Dropout prevention policy, to date, has been thoroughly inadequate.  As evidenced by the nearly 6.2 million dropouts in 2007 (“Left behind”, 2009), present interventions have proven to be insufficient in stemming the tide of students leaving high school without degrees.  High dropout rates are most concentrated in northern states and the three “mega-districts” of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles (Orfield, 2004). Until these “dropout factories” are reformed, the American high school as an engine of economic growth and social transformation will continue to be compromised (Ibid.). This paper identifies the evolution of the dropout phenomenon in the United States over the past half century.  Primarily, these interventions have been isolated and individual efforts.  Theorized to be effective solutions, these initiatives have resulted in stop-gap measures.  Despite implementation of many initiatives, several urban centers continue to post tremendously high dropout rates. A structural, comprehensive intervention is necessary to effectively address the dropout epidemic.  NCLB, the current accountability context can be expanded to hold school systems accountable for ensuring that students graduate. Enforcing a standard for the graduation rate as an assessment tool for schools and districts would enable this.  


Read our "policy analysis" in its entirety.


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