November 19, 2017
The nation’s high school graduation rate of 83.4 percent, an all-time high, (Education Week May 2017), includes still lower graduation rates for some groups like African-Americans who have a much lower graduation rate of 74.6 percent. As we celebrate the accomplishments that come with an improved graduation rate, we need to lament the students who comprise the 17% and 26% (African Americans) who do not graduate. This means for every 100 students, 17 are not graduating in non-minority groups and 26 students in minority groups. As the number of students graduating on time increases, so does the group of students not graduating. Consider for every 1000 students, 170 and 260 African-American students do not graduate. When we look at 10, 000 students, 1700 and 2600 students do not graduate which is the equivalent of a whole student body for some schools.
Should we be alarmed? Absolutely!
So, what can we do to support the students who are not graduating?
What if schools know a student’s risk of not being successful in school before the student drops out? What if a school could identify what is placing a student at-risk of not graduating and allocate resources to support that student to keep the student in school?
The Scale of Student Engagement/Disengagement (SOS ED) is a student survey that creates an Engagement Score Profile that measures the following:
Just looking at a student’s score and responses in the subcategories under Academic Interests & Attitudes about School provides insight about a student’s interest in school, school motivation, and a student’s feelings regarding school’s relevance in his/her future. Schools could also learn about a student’s self-reported resilience, safety, and success mindset.
With information like this, how could the outcome for a student at risk of leaving school before graduating change?
October 29, 2017
The story is all too common. A student attends high school one day, and gone the next. Usually there are one of two scenarios that play out. The school saw it coming-poor grades, poor attendance, it was only a matter of time, or the school wonders what when wrong as everything seemed okay. Even though our high school graduation rates are higher, students are still dropping out of school every day. The nation’s high school graduation rate of 83.4 percent, an all-time high, (Education Week May 2017), includes still lower graduation rates for some groups like African-Americans who have a much lower graduation rate of 74.6 percent.
I am reminded every day as I show up excited to engage with my students that not all students enjoy their school day. Do we know which students are struggling? Do we know why? Do we know how to support them? After all, they do spend 7 and ½ hours each day at school.
What if students could respond to a few questions about school, life, goals, and when the survey is scored, students, teachers, and administrators receive an Engagement Score Profile detailed a student’s self-identified level of engagement? What would that change? How could that empower the adults at school to strengthen relationships and create valued connections with students?
What would change if a student’s feelings about school, his ability, and his future, were supported with a tool to assist in making school a more successful and enjoyable experience? How could this type of tool and interactions between teachers and students transform a school culture?
The Scale of Student Engagement/Disengagement (SOS ED), which takes 30 minutes to administer, and for less than the cost of school lunch, provides detailed information that when used a relationship builder can make the difference between a student staying in school or leaving.