Tribpedia: High School Dropouts

Tribpedia

The dropout problem represents among the leading challenges for policy makers, schools and business leaders across Texas. A consensus of demographers predicts the problem could grow far worse as the state’s public school population swells with immigrants and the poor.

The U.S. Department of Education puts the Texas graduation rate at 71.9 percent — ranking the state 36th ...

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Rachel Bristow, a caseworker for Goodwill's GED program, assists 22-year-old Anita Rodriguez, who received her GED in August 2011, with her financial aid application at the Goodwill Resource Center in Austin, Texas.
Rachel Bristow, a caseworker for Goodwill's GED program, assists 22-year-old Anita Rodriguez, who received her GED in August 2011, with her financial aid application at the Goodwill Resource Center in Austin, Texas.

Proposed Charter School Would Focus on Adult Students

Goodwill Industries hopes to open a charter school in Central Texas to help adults who lack a high school education. The campus would be the first of its kind in Texas. But there is an obstacle: The state only provides funding for students under age 26.

Weekend Insider: Cruz and the Supreme Court; Schools Explorer

Graduation rates in Texas public schools have been on the rise, particularly in large districts like Houston, Dallas and Austin. Track stats for any public school in Texas with the Tribune’s new Public Schools Explorer.

Aman Batheja, who is on the road to cover the Republican U.S. Senate runoff campaign, talks about Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general. Cruz argued before the U.S. Supreme Court more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. His work before the nation's highest judicial body serves as the cornerstone of his U.S. Senate campaign, in which he portrays himself as a “fighter" for the U.S. Constitution.

Find these stories in the weekend editions of The New York Times and at texastribune.org.

Texas Weighs State-Based Alternative to GED Exam

Because of concerns over a partnership between the national organization that develops the GED and Pearson, a for-profit, London-based testing company, Texas may create its own high school equivalency exam. Other states, including California and New York, are also considering state-based exams before the GED changes roll out in 2014. 

Progress Texas Report: Virtual Schools Failing

A report out today from Progress Texas blasts virtual schools for high dropout rates and student-teacher ratios and low academic performance, but conservative the supporters on the program argue that the schools have academic potential and could save Texas money as it faces a likely budget shortfall in the 2013 legislative session.

Texas School District Lives On, But So Do Its Struggles

North Forest ISD has gotten what amounts to a stay of execution, as the Texas Education Agency has given the district a year to address financial and academic troubles. The district had been marked for closure. But the question of whether North Forest students would be better off attending different schools still lingers.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/24/11

Galbraith and Collier on the drought's economic impact, Grissom on the latest in the Morton and Skinner cases, Murphy on spending by Ron Paul's presidential campaign, Philpott on Rick Perry's plans for Social Security, Ramsey on the dirty little secret about dropouts, Ramshaw on how Perry and his staff downplayed allegations of abuse at state centers for the disabled, Root on Perry's flirtation with birtherism, M. Smith on GOP candidates making public ed their focus and Tan and Hamilton on why students who are in Texas illegally can get access to state financial aid: The best of our best content from October 24 to 28, 2011.

Substitute teacher Nemir Naayem watches the hallways at Austin Premiere Academy during TAKS testing.
Substitute teacher Nemir Naayem watches the hallways at Austin Premiere Academy during TAKS testing.

Bill Would Help Texas Schools for Troubled Students

A bill in the Legislature aims to fix the formula for assessing completion and dropout rates at dropout recovery charters, but some academics question whether that will just make it easier for school districts to jettison their problem children.

Can Credit Recovery Courses Cut Dropout Rates?

Across Texas, credit-recovery courses — self-paced online makeups offered to any student who fails — are expanding rapidly. In the spring and summer, 6,127 students in the Houston Independent School District earned nearly 10,000 credits in such courses, and another 2,500 are taking them this fall. Austin ISD and Dallas ISD enrolled about 4,000 students last year. For districts, they're a cost-effective way to bolster graduation rates, but questions remain over whether the digital curriculum offers the same quality of education as traditional courses. Little research exists on how much, or how little,  learning is actually going on.

The original data used for this visualization can be found here: http://www.idra.org/images/stories/IDRA_Attrition_Study_2010.pdf
The original data used for this visualization can be found here: http://www.idra.org/images/stories/IDRA_Attrition_Study_2010.pdf

New Study: Dropout Rate Falling, but Still High

A new study by the nonprofit education advocacy group Intercultural Development Research Association says 29 percent of Texas students who enter high school as freshmen do not graduate. The attrition rate is the lowest in the 25 years since the IDRA began performing the annual study. But the group notes that while the trend is declining, millions more Texans will drop out by 2040.

Everybody Going to College Isn't Realistic

Ask anybody — from the president of the United States to your high school guidance counselor — and you'll probably hear the same, seemingly obvious thing: Higher education is the key to financial advancement. But is everybody going to college a realistic goal? And would the world really be better if we achieved it? Mose Buchele of KUT News reports.
Brookings Institute Mapped Educational attainment nationwide. Texas ranks last — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diploma, largely due to rapid immigration growth. The state ranks significantly higher on college attainment.
Brookings Institute Mapped Educational attainment nationwide. Texas ranks last — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diploma, largely due to rapid immigration growth. The state ranks significantly higher on college attainment.

Why Does Texas Rank Last in High School Diplomas?

How can Texas rank last in the nation — 51st — in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas, and simultaneously rank 22nd in the percentage attending at least some college?

Students Arturo Garcia and Chris Conway listen to a U.S. Department of Education representative describe a grant program targeting low-performing schools like theirs, Reagan High School in East Austin. The money is tied to major overhauls and replacement of staff.
Students Arturo Garcia and Chris Conway listen to a U.S. Department of Education representative describe a grant program targeting low-performing schools like theirs, Reagan High School in East Austin. The money is tied to major overhauls and replacement of staff.

Students Complain About Failing School Takeovers

"Teachers should be chasing us around," the Texas high school senior told the official from the U.S. Department of Education. "We shouldn't be chasing them. But that doesn't always happen here."

Dr. Joe Gonzales, principal Austin Can
Dr. Joe Gonzales, principal Austin Can

Drop-out Recovery Charters Recruit Troubled Teens

After much hand-wringing by public officials and business leaders over the dropout crisis, a patchwork of last-resort schools and programs has emerged statewide. Gauging their performance is tricky, but there's no question that the students they serve might otherwise be on the street or in jail.

The 2007-08 graduating class started with more than 370,000 students — and ended with about 237,000, or 64 percent. Not all students dropped out. Some left Texas public school and graduated elsewhere. Researchers argue over how to measure the dropout rate, but they agree on this point: It's way too high, and disproportionately high for Hispanic and black students.
The 2007-08 graduating class started with more than 370,000 students — and ended with about 237,000, or 64 percent. Not all students dropped out. Some left Texas public school and graduated elsewhere. Researchers argue over how to measure the dropout rate, but they agree on this point: It's way too high, and disproportionately high for Hispanic and black students.

The Texas High School Dropout Problem

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“I represent a district that has 80 percent renters, 70 percent of people speaking a first language other than English, where there’s a high school with 42 languages and 40 percent turnover of the student body every year — now tell me how you plan to calculate the dropout rate,” Rep. Scott Hochberg said. “I will stipulate that it’s too big — let’s just start there. I wish we fought over solutions as much as we fight over the number.”