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ERIC Number: EJ863910
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0013-127X
The High School Dropout Problem: Perspectives of Teachers and Principals
Bridgeland, John M.; Dilulio, John J., Jr.; Balfanz, Robert
Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed for Quick Review, v75 n3 p20-26 Nov 2009
To better understand the views of teachers and administrators on the high school dropout problem, focus groups and nationally representative surveys were conducted of high school teachers and principals. A focus group of superintendents and school board members was also included. To help interpret the results, the authors convened a colloquium among teachers and education experts to shed light on the new data. Teachers and administrators in public high schools recognize the dropout problem and express strong support for reforms to address high dropout rates. Yet, less than one-third of teachers believe that schools should expect all students to meet high academic standards, graduate with the skills to do college-level work, and provide extra support to struggling students. Although more than half of principals believe schools should hold these expectations for all students, significant majorities of both teachers and principals do not believe that students at risk for dropping out would respond to high expectations and work harder. The data, focus groups, and colloquium indicate that the views of many teachers are shaped by what they see in the classroom, particularly among students who show low skill levels and weak motivation. The authors' surveys of teachers and principals and focus groups reveal an expectations gap. This expectations gap may be one barrier to closing the achievement gap. Although teachers and principals express strong support for reforms that would help reduce dropout rates--such as alternative learning communities, expanding college-level learning opportunities, connecting classroom learning with real world opportunities, and help for struggling students as early as elementary school--none of these efforts are likely to be as successful without the fundamental expectation that all students should meet high academic standards and receive supports to graduate ready for college and the work force. Recommendations to help students succeed are presented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A