Many Dropouts Try—and Fail—to Return to School
Many dropouts try at least once to return
It takes time, patience, effort, and luck to find students who leave school and return them to the classroom. But getting them back is the easy part: Keeping them long enough to get a diploma is another thing entirely.
Jennifer Harris, the program evaluator for the high school graduation initiative in Washoe County, Nev., found that out the hard way. Back in 2008, the 63,000-student Reno-area district had a nasty shock when new federal graduation calculations showed it graduated a little more than half its incoming freshmen four years later. Eighteen of its high schools were dubbed "dropout factories" by a national research and advocacy group.
In response, the district launched a massive graduation initiative: early-warning data systems to alert principals to at-risk students, graduation advisers to keep students from leaving, and intense outreach to bring back the students...
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