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Published Book or Work by:

Marla Spergel

Youth Drop Outts :Problems and Solutions

Youth Drop Outts :Problems and Solutions
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Published by www.hillwatch.com
Youth Drop Outs: Problem & Solutions By Marla Spergel The issue of High School dropout is old news. Itís been occurring for decades. Is there a strong policy case that the issue has become more important to address? Each year 18% of Canadian high school students dropout, costing taxpayers millions of dollars for lost earnings. Associated with dropouts are an increase of health problems, delinquency, crime, substance abuse, economic dependency and lower overall quality of life. Success in the highly competitive global marketplace is contingent upon a well-educated and well-paid labor force. Concern over Canadaís economic prosperity supports the desire for students to remain in school. What factors influence the high drop out rates? Dropping out is more of a process than a decision. Only one third of dropouts discuss their decision with their principal or teacher in advance. 41% of those students indicate that there was no attempt to resolve the problem by school officials More than 30% of all dropouts have an A or a B average Dropout patterns are visible in elementary school Many students come from lower socio-economic families, and have parents who didnít graduate from high school, have low skilled jobs and donít offer support for education to the child There is a tendency for children who come from single parent families to drop out. This could be due to the poverty issue and not the fact of a single parent rearing. High level of absenteeism and exhibiting forms of deviant behavior There is a greater sense of urgency on students to decide on their life direction in high school leading to stress, fear and disillusionment Dropouts exhibit ďfrustration self-esteemĒ, suggesting schools are not in tune with the needs of these kids Adequate emotional and instructional support is not evident. The result is a humiliating experience for students who donít perform at the average level, leading to low self-esteem, further achievement difficulties and dropping out of school Lack of a sense of belonging to the school The more hours a student spends working at a part-time job, the greater the want is, to leave school On the positive side, 30 % of all dropouts return to school. Dropouts who come from high socio-economic backgrounds or those who have achieved high grades are also more likely to return to school. The earlier the grade from which a high school student drops out, the less likely they will later complete school. (See Defining Dropouts for more information.) What can be done to reduce dropping out? Costs are steep in rescuing dropouts, but the long-term benefits outweigh the expense to the government and the Canadian taxpayer. Specific recommendations that have been put forward: Create smaller schools Establish a safety net program to supply the students with skills, guidance and support Offer inspiring creative ways of teaching that kids can relate to Expose students to a broad variety of career opportunities rather than a restricted middle of the road selection Establish a community mentorship and tutoring program Insist/encourage parent/family involvement Actively involve local corporations Instill a belief amongst Principals and Teachers that all students can learn and that all teachers can teach Ensure a committed and caring staff Establish the option for flexible scheduling and alternative programs Compulsory staff development programs Emphasize reading and writing projects Develop programs that show students the relationship between education and the work world Recognize and nurture the skills and interests of students Establish a community dropout task force involving parents, business, education, and government members To learn more about this topic, check out some of the following links: Kid Source on Line School Leavers Survey Hang in There Donít Be a Dropout Best Practice Number Eight: Reducing Crime and Supporting Education through a Comprehensive Truancy Reduction Strategy School Improvement Research Series The Economic Role of Education Cognitive, Academic and Personality Characteristics of Early School Leaves Defining Dropouts Voices For Children Schoolnet Teen Advice AERO High School Dropouts Ministry of Education Royal Commission Canadian Centre for Adolescent Research: High School Dropout Statistics Highlights of The New School Program Home www.hillwatch.com
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