Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2013 - (Page 1)

EDUCATION WEEK JUNE 6, 2013 Diplomas Count > www.edweek.org/go/dc13 n INSIDE 3 A ‘Neglected’ Population Goes Back to School 5 Age Can Determine Access To Free Education, Diploma Pathways 6 State Statistics and Strategies 8 10 12 Philip Scott Andrews for Education Week 14 20 High School Equivalency Test Gets a Makeover Reasons to Stay: Tailored Interventions Online Providers Find a Market In Returning Dropouts Second-Chance Challenge: Keeping Students in School A Chicago Charter Network Stanches The Flow of Dropouts STUDENT PROFILES: 18 Sound-Engineering Class Hooks Reluctant Student 20 Teenage Father Makes Journey From Dropout to Top Student 21 Honor Student Disconnects, Re-engages at CCA Students are engaged in a science class at CCA Academy, a Chicago charter school that specializes in serving dropouts and students at risk of dropping out. Through the school’s aquaponics program, in which fish and plants are raised together, students are exposed to hands-on science learning and a possible career path. RESEARCH CENTER 22 23 24 26 28 Graduation Rate Approaching Milestone TABLE: Graduation in the United States DATA: Detailed Analytic Portrait TABLE: Graduation Policies For the Class of 2013 Sources and Notes DIGITAL EDITION www.edweek.org/go/dc2013-download EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Making Progress and Trying Again First, comes the good news: The nation’s high school graduation rate is at its highest point since the 1970s. According to the newest calculation by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, the graduation rate for the class of 2010 (the most recent year for which data are available) stands at nearly 75 percent. That’s an improvement of nearly 2 percentage points from the previous year and about 8 points in the past decade. At that pace of improvement, the center projects, the percent of students earning a diploma on time could surpass the historical high of 77.1 percent within a few years. The sobering news is that, despite this upbeat trend, the glass remains partly empty. Many students—roughly 1 million a year—leave high school without a diploma. Education Week’s Diplomas Count 2013 focuses on these students—a group for whom the prospect of landing a good-paying job or earning a postsecondary credential is likely to be dim. While much attention has gone to identifying teenagers who are at risk of dropping out and finding ways to keep them in school, comparatively fewer efforts have been expended on bringing back the students who have already left. The recent economic downturn, however, may have helped catalyze new interest in these youths. As one researcher notes in the report, before the recession, “it was believed that there were still places in the economy they could go. We know now that isn’t the case.” Nonprofit groups, for-profit ventures, school districts, and some states have created or ramped up dropout-recovery programs. It isn’t easy work. Longitudinal research in San Bernadino, Calif., found that 30 percent of the school system’s dropouts returned at least once to their high schools—but just one in 20 managed to get a diploma in the time frame of the study. The new attention to dropout recovery also comes as a major path to a second chance at a high school credential—the General Educational Development test battery—is undergoing a transformation. The revised and computerized version makes its debut in January, and it’s unclear how the changes will affect the educational trajectories of this difficult-to-teach population. The other good news in this year’s statistical analysis is that the improvements in graduation rates cut across demographic groups. In fact, much of the nation’s progress since 2000 has been driven by historically disadvantaged groups. Graduation rates for Latinos, the subject of last year’s Diplomas Count, have risen 16 percentage points over the past decade, reaching 68 percent for the class of 2010. Rates for black students, now at 62 percent, have risen 13 points. Native American students may be the exception: Despite a 3-percentage-point improvement since 2000, their graduation rate declined in three of the —THE EDITORS past five years. COVER: iStockphoto/ William Howell Copyright ©2013 by Editorial Projects in Education Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic or otherwise, without the written permission of the copyright holder. Readers may make up to five print copies of this publication at no cost for personal, noncommercial use, provided that each includes a full citation of the source. Visit www.edweek.org/go/copies for information about additional print photocopies. http://www.edweek.org/go/dc13 http://www.edweek.org/go/dc2013-download http://www.edweek.org/go/copies

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2013

Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2013
Contents
A ‘Neglected’ Population Goes Back to School
Age Can Determine Access To Free Education, Diploma Pathways
State Statistics and Strategies
High School Equivalency Test Gets a Makeover
Reasons to Stay: Tailored Interventions
Online Providers Find a Market In Returning Dropouts
Second-Chance Challenge: Keeping Students in School
A Chicago Charter Network Stanches The Flow of Dropouts
Sound-Engineering Class Hooks Reluctant Student
Teenage Father Makes Journey From Dropout to Top Student
Honor Student Disconnects, Re-engages at CCA
Graduation Rate Approaching Milestone
TABLE: Graduation in the United States
DATA: Detailed Analytic Portrait
TABLE: Graduation Policies For the Class of 2013
Sources and Notes

Diplomas Count - Issue 34, 2013

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