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ERIC Number: EJ864129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-26
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Attitude Adjustment: The Stockton, Calif., District Gets Serious about Lowering--and Verifying--Its Dropout Rate
Gewertz, Catherine
Education Week, v29 n1 p23-25 Aug 2009
When Superintendent Anthony Amato arrived in Stockton, California's 38,000-student district, he knew that three of its four comprehensive high schools had been labeled "dropout factories." Mr. Amato, who has led the Hartford, Connecticut, Kansas City, Missouri, and New Orleans districts, studied Stockton's data to form his plan. Then he let loose a flurry of initiatives: (1) a dropout-recovery blitz; (2) systems of new supports for freshmen and seniors; (3) a campaign to boost SAT and PSAT participation; and (4) a redesign of large high schools into small learning communities. By the end of the 2008-2009 academic year, 74 percent of seniors and 42 percent of juniors had taken the SAT, up from 7 percent and 4 percent, respectively, the previous year. Eighty-four percent of all sophomores took the PSAT. The SAT turnabout was one result of an intense push to address the school district's dropout problem, help more teenagers get through high school, and encourage them to think about postsecondary education. The effort has halved the dropout rate, edged up the graduation rate, and lured more students into college-prep classes. Mr. Amato also started a fast-paced bid to open a high school program that allows students to earn college credit, and an alternative high school, and to create small learning communities in three of the four comprehensive high schools. (One already had them.) All were operating as the 2009-2010 school year began July 29.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test; SAT (College Admission Test)