Why did you originally want to be an educator?
To serve your community? To be a mentor? To make a difference?
Giving up on students may be the easy option, but it’s not the right option. Every student, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or background deserves a chance. Some students will be harder to deal with than others. But it’s your job, as an educator, to go that extra mile.
- In 2007, the percent of the Kentucky teenage population who are high school dropouts was estimated at 8% (ranked 36th nationally).
- In 2006, the Kentucky graduation rate ranked 27th nationally.
- Studies show low teacher expectations are a major factor affecting dropout rates.
- The largest factor in preventing high school dropouts is a positive relationship with an adult mentor.
How You Can Be Part of the Solution
- Mandate success. Require at least one acceptance letter from a four-year college or university for students to graduate.
- Build relationships. Institute an Advisor-Advisee program in your school.
- Increase communication. Contribute to and use the Early Warning System to be aware of at-risk students.
- Promote educator accountability. Create a performance-based incentive system in your school.
- Make schools safe and comfortable. Seek sponsors for capital improvements to schools and ensure the safety of every student that walks in your doors.
As an educator, you have a social mandate to inspire, challenge, and fuel your students to being the best they can be. Education is one the most accessible mediums in which one can make a difference. Every lesson, every conversation, every day makes a difference. Just as the student cannot give up – you cannot give up on the student.
Resources for Schools
On the Front Lines of Schools is a report from Civic Enterprises 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.
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.
A New Goal for America’s High Schools: College Preparation for All, a policy brief by The Future of Children 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.
CTE’s Role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, an Issue Brief from the Association for Career and Technical Education explores the integral role CTE programs and initiatives play in addressing the STEM challenge and securing America’s leadership in innovation.
Infusing Career and Technical Education into High School Reform 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.
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.
Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path A new "policy and practice" brief from Johns Hopkins University and the National Middle School Association is filled with key insights that can help district leaders and middle school teachers and principals greatly strengthen students' graduation "staying power" as they pass through grades 5-8.