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This analysis revealed that chronic absence is a significant issue in Oregon, dragging down academic performance, for communities and students of all demographic backgrounds, but especially those in families living in poverty.The good news is that this research also shows that chronic absence is a solvable problem. While many schools are struggling with high levels of chronic absence, the research also identified schools that are beating the odds by maintaining higher than expected attendance rates despite serving high risk populations.

July 2007

In this report, we look closely at students’ performance in their coursework during their freshman year, how it is related to eventual graduation, and how personal and school factors contribute to success or failure in freshman-year courses in Chicago public high schools. We show that data on course performance can be used to identify future dropouts and graduates with precision, and we compare performance indicators to discern how they might be used for nuanced targeting of students at-risk of dropping out.

This news article discusses the research of Dr. Jay Giedd, chief of brain imaging in the child psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, to determine how the brain develops from childhood into adolescence and on into early adulthood.

January 30, 2008

This powerpoint presentation describes the following three stepts to reducing dropouts: 1) understand the dropout problem in your community, 2) build an early  warning, prevention, and intervention system, 3) involve the community.

Solving problems and responding to life’s demands requires thinking skills. If a child doesn’t have the skills to handle a problem or expectation adaptively, the result will likely be some form of maladaptive or challenging behavior. This inventory tool helps identify the chronic problems adults have with the child or the demands that trigger the child (triggers and unsolved problems) and the skills the child lacks that s/he would need to handle those unsolved problems/triggers more adaptively (skill deficits).

This article looks at the effect of school infrastructure on student attendance and drop-out rates. The study finds that the quality of school infrastructure has a significant effect on school attendance and drop-out rates. Students are less likely to attend schools in need of structural repair, schools that use temporary structures, and schools that have understaffed janitorial services.

March 2006

While some students drop out because of significant academic challenges, most dropouts are students who could have, and believe they could have, succeeded in school. This survey of young people who left high school without graduating suggests that, despite career aspirations that require education beyond high school and a majority having grades of a C or better, circumstances in students’ lives and an inadequate response to those circumstances from the schools led to dropping out.

This Executive Summary to a report on The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation's Public Schools looks at data from six states on their measures of chronic absenteeism: Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Rhode Island. The states reported chronic absentee rates from 6 percent to 23 percent, with chronic absenteeism most prevalent in urban areas, among low-income students, and concentrated in relatively few schools.Chronic absenteeism begins to rise in middle school and continues climbing through 12th grade.

National research has established that students who are chronically absent as early as kindergarten have lower achievement in later grades. To demonstrate that connection in New York City schools, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity reviewed the attendance records, state assessment scores and various demographic factors for fourth-graders attending New York City public schools in the 2007-08 school year. The study considered attendance in both third and fourth grades, and analyzed
other school and student factors that can weigh heavily on academic performance.

October 2007

In this article, we summarize knowledge on the health benefits of high school graduation and discuss the pathways by which graduating from high school contributes to good health. We examine strategies for reducing school dropout rates with a focus on interventions that improve school completion rates by improving students’ health. Finally, we recommend actions health professionals can take to reframe the school dropout rate as a public health issue and to improve school completion rates in the United States.

March 2010

At-risk students, as well as parents and teachers of at-risk students, from public high schools throughout the US came together to share their perspectives on the high school dropout challenge and what they would be willing to do to keep more students on track to graduate. This report summarizes the stories from each group on the unique pressures and barriers they face and to share their thoughts and ideas for increasing the number of students who graduate from their high schools ready for college, career, and life. 

2007

This article considers the practical, conceptual, and empirical foundations of an early identification and intervention system for middle-grades schools to combat student disengagement and increase graduation rates in our nation’s cities. Many students in urban schools become disengaged at the start of the middle grades, which greatly reduces the odds that they will eventually graduate.

In this longitudinal study, data were collected on schools’ rates of daily student attendance and chronic absenteeism and on specific partnership practices that were implemented to help increase or sustain student attendance. Results indicate that several family–school–community partnership practices predict an increase in daily attendance, a decrease in chronic absenteeism, or both.

This report summarizes the views on the school dropout epidemic based on surveys and focus group discussions of high school teachers, principals, superintendents, and school board members throughout the US.

March 2007

New Hampshire has been recognized for its innovative use of data collection and analysis as the key to unlocking the dropout problem. In their program model titled Achievement in dropout Prevention and Excellence (APEX II), participating high schools are developing dynamic data collection systems at the school level.