ERIC Number: ED363455
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Reaching the Goals. Goal 2: High School Completion.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Programs for the Improvement of Practice.
The second of the National Education Goals, adopted following a summit meeting held in 1989 between the U.S. President and 50 governors, states that, by the year 2000, the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90%. This document, an abridged version of a report produced by a work group on school completion, is an examination of what will be needed to achieve that goal. An executive summary notes the need for greater emphasis on retaining students whose background generally does not indicate a risk of dropping out, but who, despite that fact, constitute the majority of dropouts. It highlights four critical issues of policy and practice in light of current education reforms. The issues are: (1) the consequences for graduation rates of the trend to develop national standards; (2) the rationalization of state graduation requirements; (3) the educational implications of incentives to raise the academic motivation and effort of students; and (4) the development and testing of theory-based studies of school persistence and retention. The report indicates how many additional students would need to complete high school to achieve the 90% goal, and identifies characteristics of dropouts. Existing policies at the national, state, school, and local levels as they affect students are discussed; family, school, and social environments that exert influence are also examined. The report then notes four areas still in need of research, namely: what is really known about mainstream dropouts? what are the factors that lead certain groups to drop out at greater rates than those in the mainstream? what are the consequences of completing a GED rather than a regular high school diploma? and to what extent does the lure of adolescent employment and the challenge of teenage parenting influence the prospects for higher graduation rates? Finally, the report calls for a move toward developing and advancing theoretical concepts that treat retention, graduation and completion as consequences of a dynamic interaction of such variables as student characteristics, school context, occupational prospects, and cultural influences, and examines some directions a national research agenda might take. Contains 49 references. (HTH)
Descriptors: Disabilities, Dropout Characteristics, Dropout Prevention, Dropout Research, Educational Change, Graduation, High School Students, High Schools, Influences, Intervention, Minority Groups, Student Needs
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328 (Stock No. 065-000-00613-8, $2.75).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Programs for the Improvement of Practice.