Dropout Prevention: How Do We Keep
Students from Falling Through the
Proverbial Crack?
Lisa J. Bowman, Ph.D.
Juniper Gardens Children’s Project
University of Kansas
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
February 27, 2004
Overview

National perspective and statistics

Risk and protective factors

What works?

Research projects

Case study

Ideas and resources for educators
Dropout Reports

National Reports



National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of
Education) publishes an annual Dropout Rates in the United
States reports
Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act (www.ed.gov)
State and Local Reports
National Studies on Dropout

U.S. Department of Education & SRI International




National Longitudinal Transition Study (1993)
National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (in progress)
Special Education Elementary Longitudinal Study (in progress)
U.S. Department of Education

National Educational Longitudinal Study (1988)
www.sri.com
www.ed.gov
Definition of Dropout
A student who leaves school “for any reason
except death, before graduation or completion of
a program of studies and without transferring to
another school or institution.”
U.S. Department of Education (2001)
National Education Goals 2000
“…the nation must drastically reduce its dropout rate.”
The nation will increase it’s graduation rate to 90%.
Educate America Act , 1993
National Education Goals 2000 Update
“While progress was made during the 1970s and 1980s in
reducing high school dropout rates and increasing
high school completion rates, these rates have remained
comparatively stable during the 1990s.”
U.S. Department of Education, 2001
Dropout Statistics
The current national dropout rate
is 10.9%; the overall school
completion rate is 85%.
Dropout and Disability

Students with learning disabilities (LD) and emotional
disturbances (ED) at highest risk (1998-1999 school year)
 27% LD
 51% ED
U.S. Department of Education, 2001
Dropout and Ethnicity
 Ethnicity
Hispanic
 African American
 Caucasian
 Asian
 Overall

28%
13%
7%
4%
10.9% (students with and
without disabilities)
U.S. Department of Education, 2001
Dropout and Socioeconomic Status

Youth from families with incomes in the lowest 20% of all family
incomes were six times as likely as their peers from families in the
top 20% of the income distribution to drop out of high school.

In 2000:
 10% of students from families in the lowest 20% dropped out
 5.2% of students from families in the middle 60% dropped out
 1.6% of students from families in the top 20% dropped out
U.S. Department of Education, 2001
Dropout and Retention

Students retained two or more years were nearly four
times as likely to drop out as those who had never
been retained.

Students who are overage for their grade are at risk for
dropping out.
U.S. Department of Education (1997); Ruff (1993)
Post-school Outcomes

68% of all prison inmates are high school dropouts.

Dropouts comprise nearly half of the heads of
households on welfare.
Harvard Civil Rights Project, 2002; Schwartz, 1995
Post-school Outcomes

Dropouts are 72% more likely to be unemployed and
earned 27% less than high school graduates.
U.S. Bureau of Labor (1996)
Post-school Outcomes

Arrest of youth ages 15-20




with disabilities (12%)
peers without disabilities (8%)
arrested at some time in their lives
more likely to be arrested when out of school up to two
years.
U.S. Department of Education, 1991
Why Do Students Drop Out?
Why Students Drop Out

Top five reasons:





Did not like school
Was failing in school
Could not get along with teachers
Could not keep up with school work
Pregnancy
National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1998
Risk Factors Include…

Family and Community




Low socioeconomic status
Lack of resources and support
High mobility (family)
Lack of or poor role models
Risk Factors Include…

School





High stakes testing
Zero tolerance policies leading to suspension and expulsion
Lack of resources and funding
Grade retention
Difficult transition from middle to high school
Risk Factors Include…

Student





Nonattendance
Repeated school failure
Behavior problems
Delinquency
Disengagement from school
Protective Factors Include…




Positive and supportive
school climate

Social skills training

Problem-solving skills

High expectations

Goals for the future
High self-esteem
Parental support and
involvement
Academic success
What Works?
Effective Interventions and Strategies

Tutoring/peer tutoring

Early identification

Attendance monitoring

Early intervention

Counseling


Mentoring
Linking home and school
needs with community
resources

Service learning

Modeling strategies for
parents
Recently Completed and
Current Research Projects
Retrospective Study

Middle school students

N=28
 20 with LD
 8 with E/BD

High, moderate, and low risk

Attendance, grades, discipline referrals, teachers’ comments about
discipline-related concerns

Primary result: Teachers’ comments in the 1st grade discriminated
among the groups
Intervention Study 1

Intervention
 ClassWide Peer Tutoring (CWPT)
 Class-Wide Self-Management (CWSM)

Participants:
 19 students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders
 Alternative high school (biology, grades 9-12)
 Residential treatment facility school (spelling, grades 5-9)

Preliminary Results:
 Reduction in inappropriate behaviors/increased time on task
 Improved pre- to posttest scores
Sample On-Task Data
# Intervals Off-Task
60
50
40
A Baseline
30
A CWPT
20
10
0
1
2
3
Observations
4
Sample On-Task Data
# Intervals Off-Task
60
50
40
B Baseline
30
B CWPT
20
10
0
1
2
3
Observations
4
Sample Pre/Posttest Data
Class Wide Peer Tutoring (Spelling)
100
90
80
Percent Correct
70
60
B Pre
50
B Post
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
Weeks
3
Sample Pre/Posttest Data
Class Wide Peer Tutoring (Spelling)
100
90
80
Percent Correct
70
60
E Pre
50
E Post
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
Weeks
3
Intervention Study 2

Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
 School-wide expectations
 Monthly behavior parties
 Back to school picnic
 Family Fun Nights
 In-services to review of student data
 Data-based decision making with staff

CHAMPS (Character Helps Achieve More Positive Students)

Preliminary results: Reduction in discipline referrals; increased
parental participation; increased involvement in instruction
School-wide PBS Strategies
All Students In School
Individual Supports
(1%-7%)
Group Interventions
(5%-15%)
Universal Interventions
(80%-90%)
Adapted from Sugai et al., 2000
Office Referral Data
Elementary School Referrals
Number of Frequencies
80
75
70
62
60
50
40
30
20
20
10
0
Fall '02
Spring '03
Semester
Fall '03
Teacher Preparation/Professional
Development Study

LAS ESTRELLAS
 KU/KSU partnership
 Secondary content area teachers/English as a Second Language
(ESL) endorsement

Research component focusing on teacher and student outcomes
 Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM)
 Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)
 Ecobehavioral System for the Contextual Recording of Interactional
Bilingual Environments (ESCRIBE)

Parent involvement
Sample CBM data
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Te
ac
he
rA
Te
ac
Te
he
ac
rB
he
rC
Te
(B
ac
4)
he
rC
Te
(B
ac
6)
he
rC
(B
8)
Te
ac
he
rD
Te
ac
he
rE
Te
ac
he
rF
Te
ac
he
rG
Te
ac
he
rH
Te
ac
he
rI
Percent Correct
LAS ESTRELLAS Pre/Post Data Emporia Fall 2003
Sep-03 P re-Test
Class A v
Sep-03 P o stTest Class A v
Oct-03 P re-Test
Class A v
Oct-03 P o stTest Class A v
No v-03 P reTest Class A v
No v-03 P o stTest Class A v
Dec-03 P re-Test
Class A v
Dec-03 P o stTest Class A v
Summary of ESCRIBE
Categories and Subcategories
ECOBEHAVIORAL VARIABLES
INSTRUCTIONAL
ENVIRONMENT
VARIABLES
STATIONARY
VARIABLES
1.
2.
3.
4.
SETTING
INSTRUCTIONAL
MODEL
NUMBER OF
ADULTS
NUMBER OF
STUDENTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
ACTIVITY
MATERIALS
LANGUAGEMATERIALS
INSTRUCTIONAL
GROUPING
TEACHER
VARIABLES
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
TEACHER
DEFINITION
TEACHER FOCUS
LANGUAGEINSTRUCTION
CORRECTIONS/
AFFIRMATIONS
TEACHER
BEHAVIOR
STUDENT
VARIABLES
1.
2.
3.
4.
LANGUAGE
INITIATING/
RESPONDING
ORAL RESPONSES
LANGUAGESTUDENT
STUDENT
ACTIVITY
RELATED
RESPONSES
Ideas for Educators

Establish, communicate,
model and reinforce
appropriate behaviors
Help
students explore
career and postsecondary
educational options

Set and communicate high
expectations
Catch

Communicate with families

Help students with decisionmaking and goal setting
‘em being good!
Tools for Educators

Academic
 ClassWide Peer Tutoring
(CWPT)

Curriculum-based
Measurement (CBM)

Behavioral
 Systematic Screening for
Behavior Disorders
(SSBD)

Positive Behavior
Support (PBS)

The Good Student Game

Tough Kid Toolkit
Contact Information
Lisa J. Bowman, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Juniper Gardens Children’s Project
University of Kansas
650 Minnesota Avenue, Second Floor
Kansas City, KS 66101
(913) 321-3143 (ext. 235)
[email protected]
www.jgcp.ku.edu
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Risk and Protective Factors Related to School Dropout