Painting a picture of a "typical" high school dropout is not an easy task. However, researchers from the Center for Social Organization of Schools and Johns Hopkins University, identified four categories under which nearly all reasons for students dropping out fit into. The "four broad classes of dropouts" comes directly from the work of Robert Balfanz. Life Events Students who dropout because of something that happens outside of school—they become pregnant, get arrested or have to work to support members of their family.
NEA Today spoke with Feldman to talk about what she learned from her interviews with the more than 50 young people who dropped out of high school. What really surprised us was that the overwhelming majority of the youth we interviewed really liked elementary school.
Another surprise was how many were willing to blame themselves and how much they deeply regretted their actions that led to dropping out.
Finally, what surprised me personally was the lack of interventions. They seemed to be forgotten by the schools or consciously ignored. What was a common reason for dropping out?
There were very distinct patterns we see with kids starting to Why students drop out of school away usually in middle school. The through line in many of their stories was some kind of academic challenge that undermined their faith in themselves as learners, that then led to helplessness and hopelessness about their ability to be a student, which was their primary job in life.
Math, in particular, seemed to be the academic trip wire where they stumbled on and never recovered from. Algebra was often the culprit. When did the decision to drop out normally occur? A suspension or expulsion. Some kind of social problem that gets out of hand. Finally, there were the accelerated leavers — kids who tended to come from damaging backgrounds, had mental health problems, problems at home, drug and alcohol problems.
Trying to at least stabilize these kid at school should be priority number one. Are there common traits that the students who decided to drop out share? The majority are lower income, not necessarily living in poverty, but come from struggling families.
Many are kids of color. What can schools and educators do to intervene? First, there needs to be some kind of mechanism in place to know when a kid is starting to get in trouble academically or socially. Some schools have early warning systems, which is a good start. If any of these aspects is triggered, having a plan in place to respond to that kid can be effective.
Backing up even further, having a school-wide orientation toward truly knowing your kids and taking steps to make them feel they are an important part of everything, that they belong, that their voices are valued.
Educators can help by carefully watching what they say and how it could be interpreted. The youth we talked to were really impacted by the perception that teachers were snide and sarcastic towards them.
But the main thing is to help kids feel like you have their back, no matter what. Schools need to create a solid cultural foundation. Really listen to them. This can be helpful in academic and disciplinary interventions. Building a caring community can happen at the classroom level, school level and community level.
One pattern we identified was if kids moved and transferred to a new school, they often felt very out of place, which can have a cascading effect on feeling successful.
They soon form a skipping culture, which becomes a reinforced behavior. Almost simultaneously, they start using drugs and alcohol. This is why prevention is so critical. Assign them an advisor teacher or a study buddy or an older volunteer student to sit with them at lunch and ease the transition.
The first few weeks can be really critical. What did most of the students wish their educators had done? The ones that really felt bad about their academic abilities wished they had more individual help.
Older teens wished they had listened to parents. Some of the kids needing more guidance, sometimes not feasible for their parents to provide because they just had too many demands to keep the lights on and food on the table.
Many of kids were from immigrant and refugee families. Schools can partner or even host community centers, which can be a place for kids to go after school for a welcoming environment.Special Report / Why Students Drop Out Amy M. Azzam Approximately one-third of all high school students in the United States fail to graduate.
1 For blacks and Hispanics, the rate rises to 50 percent. Here is an insight into the top 10 common reasons why students drop out of school. Lack of interest It is usually found that every class of students has some of those pupils who refuse to show any attention to the subjects being taught.
Research shows dropping out is strongly tied to socioeconomic status. Kids who come from low-income areas are times more likely to drop out than middle-income kids.
Why Do Students Drop Out of School? Painting a picture of a "typical" high school dropout is not an easy task. However, researchers from the Center for Social Organization of Schools and Johns Hopkins University, identified four categories under which nearly all reasons for students dropping out fit into.
Some of the Surprising Reasons Why Students Drop Out of School By Cindy Long “Why We Drop Out”: Understanding and Disrupting Student Pathways to Leaving School by Deborah L.
Feldman, Antony T.
Smith, and Barbara L. Waxman, recounts the compelling stories of kids who explain in their own words why they decided to leave school.
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