News Briefs: Archives 2011 & Earlier

Dropout Summit Produces a Plan

More than 100 organizations representing foundations, government policymakers and education and community leaders endorsed a 10-point plan last month to reduce the number of high school dropouts.

The strategy would include implementing early warning systems to support struggling students, creating more alternative paths to graduation and establishing more college and work prep courses.

Time will tell whether the event, kicked off by first lady Laura Bush, proves to be anything more than another expensive Washington photo op. Even if it doesn’t, it at least raised the profile of the dropout issue, as the first lady called for increasing graduation rates to be a top policy priority.

While the summit was a high-end political affair that focused on schools, participants included representatives from Teach for America, the Community Coalition of South Los Angeles and the YouthBuild Alternative School in Cambridge, Mass.

The dropout problem has been slowly gaining attention. In 2005, the governors of every state signed the Graduation Counts Compact, agreeing that there should be a common formula for calculating state graduation rates and that improvements are needed in the collection, reporting and analysis of graduation and dropout data. By 2010, thirty-nine states plan to report the results of a five-year longitudinal study that is tracking student progress from entry into ninth grade through exit from high school.

Summit panelist Reginald Beaty, executive vice president of Communities in Schools of Georgia, praised the “holistic approach” of the gathering, and appreciated its receptivity to looking at “non-academic barriers” that make dropping out “a process, not an event.” He said community based support services for youth are essential for the effort to succeed.

Not in attendance was Jack Wuest, the feisty veteran innovator in working with dropouts in Chicago. “While these are all nice efforts in the area of prevention, they don’t offer a lick or a promise for the millions of dropouts left behind on the streets without education or employment opportunities,” said Wuest, executive director of the Alternative Schools Network. “It’s a huge oversight.”

Preventing fires is good, he said, but the nation’s current dropouts represent a “fire now raging” that needs attention.

The summit was sponsored by the National Governors Association, Civic Enterprises, Time magazine, MTV and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Contact: (202) 624-5300, http://www.nga.org.

Comments

Youth Today is the only independent, internationally distributed digital media publication that is read by thousands of professionals in the youth service field.

Youth Today adheres to high-quality journalistic standards, providing readers with professional news coverage dedicated to examining a wide spectrum of complex issues in the youth services industry from legislation to community-based youth work.

EDITORIAL INDEPENDENCE

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue.

DONORS & DONOR TRANSPARENCY

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Donors may be quoted, mentioned or featured in our stories. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions…(read more)

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories

Search

Kennesaw State University Mountain Logo & Ceneter for Sustainable Journalism Logo
LOGO Institute for Nonprofit News 3 turquoise boxes stacked in "J" shape

Copyright © 2018 Youth Today and MVP Themes --- Published by Center for Sustainable Journalism,
Kennesaw State University, 1200 Chastain Blvd. Suite 310, Kennesaw GA 30144

To Top