Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Journal Articles

Dropouts: Finding the needles in the haystack

Sparks, E., Johnson, J., & Akos, P.
Educational Leadership, 67(5), 46-49 (2010)

Full Text Available

“To design effective dropout prevention programs, schools need to know who drops out, and why. Too often, schools target such programs to minorities and low-income students. This approach risks doing more harm than good by stereotyping students and delivering inappropriate services to those who don't need them. The authors of this article conducted a study in a large, southeastern school district to help identify potential dropouts more accurately. Their analysis showed that 9th grade dropouts were more likely than the general 9th grade population to have one or more of the following risk factors: being retained in any grade, scoring below grade level on grade 8 standardized math tests, and receiving a long-term suspension. Collecting data in this way can help schools identify the students most in need of intervention and provide the extra support these students need.”

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