Created on Friday, 27 June 2014 11:56
Long before students have even entered ninth grade, teachers are looking to detailed data to figure out which kids are most likely to drop out of high school. Though this flagging system can call attention to a need for
additional help to a potential dropout, there may be concerns, like inaccurate predictions, or worse, lowered expectations.
At Clinton Middle School in East Los Angeles, teachers are using a system called Early Warning Indicators, or EWI, which is part of a school transformation program called Diplomas Now, currently used in 14 cities around the country. The system is based on recent research out of Johns Hopkins University that shows what specific factors best predict the likelihood of dropping out of high school. The warning system uses three data points – suspensions or behavior, attendance, and grades in middle school — to identify kids at risk of not making it to high school graduation. According to an op-ed written by Diplomas Now in the New York Times, in the 2012-13 school year, “the program achieved a 41 percent reduction in chronically absent students, a 70 percent reduction in suspended students, a 69 percent reduction in students failing English and a 52 percent reduction in students failing math.”