David Snyder

Dialogues to Help Reduce Dropouts

A new report from Civic Enterprises on dropouts provides snapshots of discussions among three groups—students, teachers, and parents—and reports on how the discussions were productive in fostering dialogue, discovering common ground, and leading toward positive solutions.

Civic Enterprises published the much-discussed "The Silent Epidemic" in 2006, which demonstrated through student voices the motivations of dropouts. Subsequent reports provided similar feedback from the perspectives of teachers and parents, and the fourth report in the series, "Raising Their Voices: Engaging Students, Teachers, and Parents to Help End the High School Dropout Epidemic," documents focus groups held in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Kingston, Tenn. Members of each focus group remarked at the novelty of these different constituencies being brought together to discuss any topic, let alone the causes of dropouts.

Researchers discovered that there were serious disconnects between the views of the three groups; for instance, students cited boredom as the central reason for dropping out, while many teachers did not see this as a major cause. The report concludes that the discussions "demonstrated that the disconnects that we identified in previous research, including why students chose to drop out of school and what can be done about it, can be effectively bridged through structured dialogue and a spirit of mutual respect."

Take a look at the full report for detailed analysis and quotes from the groups, as well as a template and a guide to conducting a similar discussion in your community.

Comments (3)

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

March 27, 2010

I would encourage everyone to read Reducing the Black Male Dropout Rate. Their dropout rate is 52% and in some cities its close to 70%.

Richard Lewis

March 28, 2010

I would encourage everyone to visit the site, get involved
and make sure their is a next step…a process for a solution not just for the Black Male dropout Rate but for all.  The event now set for April 29th in Sac., California.
This a State Summit sponsored by 17 California Mayors through West Ed, Ariz. Policy Center.
Inf. within America’s Promise…search Calif. Summit
This is but a seed, but more than just a one more event.
For sure the process is key but local Mayor sourced structured dialogue needs strategies…mine public domain
King/Chavez Legacy Teams to so focus and create local “Promise towns and neighborhoods”.
Grupo Amistad seeks to create that possibility on both sides of the border.
That site:
A search for The Grupo Amistad Vision so shares the ongoing action steps of possibilities.

Tommy Puryear

April 8, 2010

Kids today have too many toys that occupy their time along with activities that produce wasted time and energy. When it comes to learning, they fail to realize the importance of a good education and the consequences of not having one. At http://tepadventures.com/teen-adventures/stay-in-school/ parents and teenagers alike can find a wealth of resoureces to encourage youth to stay in school. I would encourage anyone to check it out.

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