Monday, August 3, 2009

Dropout Prevention Update - Volume 9, Number 2

Dropout Prevention Update
August 1, 2009 — Volume 9 Number 2
National Dropout Prevention Center/Network


Top Stories | Sound Connections | Videos | Funding Sources | Policy Updates | International Notes | Effective Strategies | Resources and Tools | Feedback

Online registration is now open for the 21st Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference in San Antonio, Texas, October 25-28, 2009.

Top Stories

Achievement Gaps: How Black and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the latest statistical report from the U. S. Department of Education.

Civic Enterprises has released a new report that includes the views of teachers and administrators regarding the dropout crisis. Both groups supported measures to address the crisis, but less than one-third of teachers thought schools should expect all students to meet high academic standards, graduate with the skills for college-level work, and provide support to struggling students. Half of principals and administrators felt the same way.

Sound Connections

Solutions talks with Michael Carter, Executive Director of the Fast Forward Program in Dayton, Ohio, as he shares information about dealing with the challenging issue of retention.

Start planning your 2009-2010 in-service programs now with free professional development programs provided by Solutions to the Dropout Crisis. Fifteen programs are archived for you to use at any time, complete with the sound presentations by experienced educators and the power points that go with the presentations. Resources often include videos to enhance the programs.


Here’s an inspirational story about a middle school teacher who has been promoting high aspirations for his students for 40 years.

Funding Sources

President Obama and the US Department of Education announced the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program that is a challenge to states and districts that will drive reform, reward excellence and dramatically improve our nation's schools.

The Comcast Foundation is awarding grants to maximize the impact of community investments so they yield tangible, measurable benefits to neighborhoods. The primary focus area is diversity-oriented programs that address literacy, volunteerism and youth leadership development. Maximum Award: $570,000; Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations operating within communities that Comcast serves.

By Kids For Kids/NYSE Foundation/K12: NYSE Financial Future Challenge offers $2500 grants to youth who come up with new ways to teach their peers about finance, money management, and investing in the stock market.
Deadline: August 31, 2009.

Policy Updates

The UCLA center prepared a major policy and practice brief titled State Education Agencies & Learning Supports: Enhancing School Improvement.

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08. Part I, Is the Emphasis on "Proficiency" Shortchanging Higher- and Lower-Achieving Students? The report provides an update on student performance at the proficient level of achievement, and for the first time, includes data about student performance at the advanced and basic levels.

The Future of Children published a policy brief that outlines steps that high schools can take to increase the college readiness of poor and minority students, making it more likely that they will be accepted into and graduate from college.

International Notes

Promoting Talent through Early Education (PROTEEVA), sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is offering up to $14 million dollars over 5 years for school readiness programs that will provide opportunities for 5-year olds by providing pre-primary school education and after school educational activities for pre-school and primary school students in Bangladesh.

Effective Strategies

Career and Technical Education

This Issue Brief from ACTE explores the integral role CTE programs and initiatives play in addressing the STEM challenge and securing America’s leadership in innovation.

This American Youth Policy Forum brief on CTE is based largely on the November 2008 field trip for state policy leaders to Sacramento, CA, which was conducted by AYPF in conjunction with the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices.

After-School Opportunities

Structuring Out-of-School Time to Improve Academic Achievement. The five recommendations in this guide from the What Works Clearinghouse are intended to help district and school administrators, out-of-school program providers, and educators design out-of-school time programs that will increase learning for students.


Read the article in Youth Service California’s blog about service-learning being good dropout prevention for elementary level children.

Systemic Renewal

This brief links research findings to effective strategies for building systems-level partnerships in out-of-school time programs.

Resources and Tools

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) offers this free recording on School 2.0 and Understanding by Design. The hour-long session explores ways to marry technology tools with the key UbD principles developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.

The mission of Colorin Colorado is to find research-based and best practice information about teaching reading to English language learners (ELLs) and to use the power and reach of the Internet to make the information widely available to parents, educators, and policy makers.

Achievement Gap Patterns of Grade 8 American Indian and Alaska Native Students in Reading and Math focuses on student proficiency in reading and math from 2003-2004 to 2006-2007.


We appreciate comments from our readers. We invite new subscribers to receive the Dropout Prevention Update. Please contact us at

Sources: What Works Clearinghouse, AYPF, ACTE, IES, MiddleWeb, School Mental Health Project

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The CalServe Network posts news and updates of interest to the service-learning field in California. News and updates are drawn from the CalServe List Serve and the National K-12 Service-Learning List Serve and various other sources.