ERIC Number: ED339767
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
School Dropouts: Here Today, Here Tomorrow.
Catterall, James S.
The prospects that current dropout interventions will succeed in reducing dropout behavior are explored using the following sources: (1) the literature on school dropouts; (2) experience in working with policymakers; and (3) a general perspective on the policy process advanced by political scientists. School dropouts are currently the focus of a great deal of public attention as the "issue attention cycle" principle has brought dropouts into ascendancy. More than a fourth of students drop out of school, with the problem nearly doubled in many urban centers. To date, research has done a better job of describing the phenomenon than prescribing solutions. Four common approaches to dropout prevention are the following: (1) early identification; (2) focus on selected individual problems, particularly academic difficulties or negative social relations; (3) focus on connections between school and work; and (4) focus on a broad spectrum of problems facing many adolescents. A best guess for the course of dropout prevention policy for the near future is that efforts will continue along the lines established in the last few years. Although the "issue attention cycle" may cause interest in dropouts to wane, no dramatic changes are expected for better or worse in the next few years. Individual educators who hope to make a difference must carve their own niches soon. There is a 12-item list of references. (SLD)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Programs, Education Work Relationship, Educational Change, Educational Policy, Educational Research, Educational Trends, Futures (of Society), High School Students, High Schools, Political Issues, Public Opinion, Social Attitudes, Trend Analysis, Urban Schools
CSE Dissemination Office, UCLA Graduate School of Education, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1521.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.