D.C. attempts to get to the bottom of school dropout crisis

A report that will be released today from Raise DC – a coalition comprised of public, private, and nonprofit groups convened by Mayor Gray – explores the reasons why many high school students in the District struggle to graduate on time, or at all. A number of school districts across the region have conducted similar analyses in an attempt discover student patterns and intervene early on; however, this is the District’s most comprehensive study on the topic to date. (WaPo, 9/26)

The report looks at the experiences and outcomes for first-time ninth-graders between 2006 and 2009, tracking more than 18,000 students in more than 40 high schools, both traditional and charter, including selective and alternative schools.

The study found that middle school performance played a significant role in whether students were on track to graduate. Some key risk factors in eighth grade predicted poor graduation rates: special education or ESL designation; being overage; low scores on standardized math or reading tests; high number of absences; and course failures.

Report data will be made available this afternoon here.

Related: For more background on the work and goals of Raise DC, take a look at this post from last year. (Daily, 3/2013)

D.C. residents will pay less to get a GED starting next month (WaPo, 9/26)

– A new report from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Women’s Law Center finds that a combination of gender and racial discrimination, unequal distribution of school resources, harsh disciplinary practices, and other factors, have caused African American girls to be more likely than any other racial group of girls to be suspended, expelled or held back. African American girls were also found to be doing worse than the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement revealing the need for increased access and opportunity nationwide. (NPR, 9/25)

– See what happens when 60 senior associates have the chance to put their leadership and management consulting skills to use in their communities. Through Booz Allen Hamilton’s Leadership Excellence Program, top employees create positive societal change. (USCCF, 9/23)

– Congratulations to IBM for being named a finalists for the US Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Corporate Citizenship Best Corporate Steward Award in the large business category! The award honors companies with overall values, operational practices, and stakeholder strategies that exemplify shared value. The 2014 finalists show the significant, positive impact businesses have around the world.

Related: Both of these companies are represented in the 2014 Institute for CSR class as participants and faculty members. Check out the testimonials from this year’s class and sign up for next year. Classes start in January!

VETERANS/HOMELESSNESS | With around 617 homeless veterans across Virginia on any given night, Governor Terry McAuliffe and mayors from cities across the state announced the start of a 100 Day Challenge designed to foster greater collaboration on strategies to end veteran homelessness. The goal is a step toward the federal goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. (Virginia.gov, 9/24)

 Related: Last month, WRAG hosted a brown bag discussion on D.C.’s current efforts to house homeless veterans. The discussion featured Ronald McCoy from the D.C. Housing Authority, a member of the Veterans Now coalition, made up of nine local organizations, as well as local and federal government agencies, launched last year with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans by 2015.

REGION | 450,000 voters in Virginia may lack proper I.D. needed to vote (WaPo, 9/25)

 Which food do people in D.C. like to tweet about the most? The answer may surprise you!


One thought on “D.C. attempts to get to the bottom of school dropout crisis”

  1. On the Education note today all I can say is Really? Discover student patterns?? — a comprehensive report states the obvious. But why are the risk factors middle school? Same risk factors are in elementary school. The biggest risk factors are not stated here: is their enough food to eat, a bed to sleep in, and do the children know they matter? Mental health is probably the strongest indicator of whether a child is on track to attend school, show effort, learn, and grow. It we are going to discover the patterns, we have to start way younger and get real about the stress kids who drop out are under when they are 7, 8, and 9 years old. But there isn’t enough funding for counselors in D.C. public schools.

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