graduation rates

graduation rates

Taft High School Soars to Success

A Taft student gets one on one attention

Taft Information Technology High School in Cincinnati seemed to be a high school doomed with a bleak future. With a graduation rate of 18 percent, Taft held a reputation full of crime, and failing students. That was ten years ago. Principal Anthony Smith and a committed group of teachers and community members have managed to turn Taft’s story around.

Anthony Smith was appointed Principal of Taft 9 years ago, and immediately began to access the dismal situation. To combat the failing school, Smith entertained the idea of getting rid of all the teachers. His mind was changed when he realized that the teachers were not unmotivated, but under supported and working hard in the wrong direction. A plan of action was developed, including daily meetings to identify problems in the school.

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Chicago High School Sends 100 Percent of Graduates to College

Urban Prep Graduates via

By Stephanie VanderVelden

Urban Prep, an all male charter school geared toward African American students did it again. Every single one of their graduating seniors is going to college. For the second year in a row, the Chicago based charter school has been the catalyst to a successful future for over a hundred young men.

Urban Prep was founded four years ago, in Englewood, and provides alternative education to young men from Chicago’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods. 85 percent of students live below the poverty line, and most came in reading below their respective grade level. The first class of seniors graduated in June, 2010, and all 107 seniors went to college.

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Less Than Half of New Jersey Students Graduate in Four Years

Graduation prospects are glum for New Jersey college students. Less than half will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in four years.

A Star-Ledger summary of graduation statistics from campuses around the state found that four-year graduation rates varied  from 6 percent at New Jersey City University to 90 percent at Princeton University. Data was gathered from the federal Department of Education’s latest statics, which were compiled in 2008.

“This is not the best we can do,” said Kean University President, Dawood Farahi. “We need to shift the paradigm. We need to focus on the student outcomes and the graduation of the students.”

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Graduation Coaches Aid High School Students in Getting Diplomas

National dropout rates among high school students have drawn some major attention recently. The Obama Administration has set forth some goals to reverse the trends of schools that are termed “dropout factories”, having fewer than 60 percent of students who start school their freshmen year still enrolled four years later. Schools all over the country have taken some different approaches to turning around these numbers and getting more high school students earning diplomas. One method that is being used is the hiring of graduation coaches.

The state of Georgia is currently involved in a program throughout the state to use graduation coaches to help students. Graduation coaches have a dedicated responsibility to identify students who are at-risk for dropping out of school. This risk may be due to poor attendance or failing grades. Once those at-risk students are identified, the graduation coach prepares a plan or strategy that will engage students in getting motivated.

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School Districts with High Minority Populations Have Lower Graduation Rates

The national high school graduation rate increased by three percent – from 72 to 75 percent – between 2001 and 2008, according to a report by America’s Promise Alliance.

However, this is not as good as it sounds – at least for students who live in high-poverty urban districts. The report discovered that these districts have graduation rates below the national average.

What are these “high-poverty urban districts”?

“One county type stands out in sharpest relief… the counties with large African American populations called Minority Central, set heavily in the nation’s southeast,” according to a report by Patchwork National, a PBS-affiliated reporting project. “Those counties hold only about 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, but they hold more than 15 percent of the high schools with the highest dropout rates.”

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Parents Possibly Jailed for Missing School Conferences

male teacherEducation is under fire in our country. Many students are falling behind and the education system is facing a lot of criticism. Teachers are dealing with overcrowded classrooms and, in some cases, unruly students. Many parents blame teachers for underachieving students but questions fly on what responsibility parents hold.

Teachers have a hard time doing their job when parents don’t take an interest in their child’s education. One Detroit prosecutor wants to hold parents responsible. Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy has proposed that parents who miss their child’s parent-teacher conferences serve jail time.

Worthy’s rash proposal is to call attention to the direct link in youth crimes and parental education involvement. If children don’t feel like their parents care about their education, they also don’t take an interest and turn to crime as a way to get attention. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Economy Will Lose 300,000 College Graduates Every Year

cap and diplomaA recent study published by Georgetown University entitled Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018 spelled out some complicated news regarding the economy. It’s been estimated that the U.S. workforce will be short 300,000 college graduates every year until 2018.

There are a couple reasons for this predicament. The recession produced a shift from manual labor jobs to those requiring higher education degrees. Our unemployment rate is still a staggering 9.6 percent because there aren’t enough college graduates to fulfill the needs of the jobs that are available.  Read the rest of this entry »

Low Graduation Rates for Community College Students Has Many Calling for Reform

graduation ratesOnly 25 percent of community college students earn degrees within six years. This statistic is not only shocking, it’s bad news for our recovering economy. Why are community college students not succeeding? A large part of the problem lies within developmental education. A conference was held at the Teachers College of Columbia University to delve deeper into this subject.

Developmental education is the term used for sub-college level courses. Remedial course is another phrase used to describe these classes. Remedial courses include classes that teach basic reading and math, skills students should have learned long ago. These courses provide students with the skills needed to succeed in their college-level coursework and are often required for new students who do not score high enough on placement tests.  Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Has Few College Graduates

texasTexas is falling short in higher education. Though it’s the second largest state in the union, only 27
percent of its population has degrees.

The College Board, which conducts the SAT and AP tests, reported that Texas ranks 40th in
prevalence among adults ranging from ages 25 to 34 with college degrees.

Richard Reddick, from the University of Texas, said several of Texas’ students are first-generation or
low-income students who either can’t afford to pay for tuition or are unprepared for college courses. Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. Ranks 12th in Higher Education

No longer is the U.S. the leader in higher education for young adults, according to a recent College Board report. The U.S. ranks 12th place in prevalence among adults ranging from ages 25 to 34 with college degrees.graduation rates

Canada is in the lead for having 55.8 percent of the country’s population obtaining at least an associate’s degree. The U.S. lags behind at 40.4 percent. While the report focuses on younger adults, the U.S. ranks sixth when older adults are configured into the study.

The report also focuses on state ranking. The District of Columbia ranks highest, with a completion rate of 62.2 percent. Maryland ranks 12th at 38.6 percent, while Virginia ranks 17th, at 36.5 percent. Read the rest of this entry »


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