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Advancing the "Colorado Graduates" Agenda: Understanding the Dropout Problem and Mobilizing to Meet the Graduation Challenge.

ERIC Descriptors: Dropouts; Health Promotion; Public Health; Quality of Life; Graduates; Graduation; Dropout Prevention; Dropout Rate; Middle School Students; Grade 9; Intervention; Attendance; School Districts; Scores; Partnerships in Education; College School Cooperation; Response to Intervention

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The ambitious goal set by Colorado's governor to address the state's dropout problem is a model for the nation. Helping thousands of young people to receive their high school diplomas instead of leaving school without them is a crucial step in improving the quality of life for all Colorado residents. Accomplishing this goal will require focused attention on dropout prevention, intervention, and recovery, particularly in the schools and districts with large numbers of dropouts. The research reported here was conducted as a foundational analysis for the work of the Colorado Graduates Initiative (CGI), a partnership of several education advocacy organizations and other non-profit organizations seeking to assure that districts and schools succeed in accomplishing the goal of cutting the state's dropout rate in half within the next ten years. This research focused first on the statewide distribution of dropouts, and then on five of the districts having some of the largest number of dropouts, using both aggregate school level data from the Colorado Department of Education and individual level administrative data from each of the five districts. The report begins with an analysis of the concentration of dropouts within the state of Colorado, and a brief review of what research has shown about predictors of a dropout outcome. It provides an analysis of the demographic and behavioral characteristics of dropouts from the five Colorado districts as well as early warning indicators among students in middle school and ninth grade. The report concludes with recommendations for steps that districts and schools could potentially take to identify and address these early warning signals. The recommendations include specific suggestions for an integrated dropout prevention framework, using a multi-tiered public health framework with an early warning system and tiered interventions to increase attendance and reduce both problem behavior and course failure. In short, this report presents several keys to addressing Colorado's graduation challenge. (Contains 13 figures, 6 tables and 10 footnotes.) [For the "Advancing the "Colorado Graduates" Agenda: Understanding the Dropout Problem and Mobilizing to Meet the Graduation Challenge. [Executive Summary]," see ED539110.]

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Author:Mac Iver, Martha Abele; Balfanz, Robert; Byrnes, Vaughan
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Article Type:Calendar
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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