Dropout Prevention: A Practice Guide
Author: Dynarski, M., Clarke, L., Cobb, B., Finn, J., Rumberger, R., Smink, J., Hallgren, K., Gill, B.
Publisher: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
Publication Date: 2008, Sept.
Full text available online at: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/dp_pg_090308.pdf
Abstract (written by WestEd)
Although a multiplicity of factors contributes to studentsí dropping out of school, educators can indeed influence students to stay in school by implementing dropout prevention programs on three different levels: diagnostic, targeted intervention, and schoolwide intervention. Within each of these three levels, the authors have identified one to three specific recommendations for action. Each of these recommendations includes a brief summary of supporting evidence, instructions on implementation, and a list of possible roadblocks and solutions. All Institute of Education Sciences practice guides judge their recommendations as having either a low, moderate, or strong level of evidence supporting a causal relationship between their recommendations and the desired outcome. The level of evidence is listed following each recommendation.
Diagnostic tools that are accurate and useful
- Utilize data systems that support a realistic diagnosis of the number of students who drop out and that help identify individual students at high risk of dropping out. (Low level of evidence)
- Assign adult advocates to students at risk of dropping out. (Moderate level of evidence)
- Provide academic support and enrichment to improve academic performance. (Moderate level of evidence)
- Implement programs to improve studentsí classroom behavior and social skills. (Low level of evidence)
- Personalize the learning environment and instructional process. (Moderate level of evidence)
- Provide rigorous and relevant instruction to better engage students in learning and provide the skills needed to graduate and to serve them after they leave school. (Moderate level of evidence)