Texas is considered a national leader in dropout prevention by taking all the recommended state actions to prevent and recover school dropouts.
A new report issued by the bipartisan education reform group, Achieve, found that Texas is the only state in the country to implement all key college and career readiness policies identified by the organization.
Achieve conducts an annual survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine whether they have implemented strategic college and career readiness policies. Texas was the only state to receive a check mark in the five areas Achieve graded – alignment of curriculum standards, graduation requirements, assessments, P-20 data systems and accountability systems.
Closing the Expectations Gap, 2010
The 5th annual "Closing the Expectations Gap" report shows that Texas is the only state that meets the minimum criteria Achieve believes necessary to measure and provide incentives for college and career readiness.
America's Promise Alliance has released a report that provides positive signs that Texas is making progress in reducing the number of students who drop out of high school.
- Texas led the nation in the reduction of the number of dropout factory high schools with 77 high schools.
- Texas saw a decline in the number of dropout factories across all locales – cities, suburbs, towns and rural areas – indicating that improvement is possible in any type of community.
- Texas led in the decline of dropout factory high schools in urban areas.
Jobs for the Future (JFF) has prepared a national dropout report that lauds Texas’ use of far-reaching strategies for reducing the number of high school dropouts and addressing the dropout situation in a comprehensive manner. The JFF report examined six model policy elements that frame a sound strategy for dropout prevention and recovery:
1. Reinforce the right to a public education
2. Count and account for dropouts
3. Use graduation and on-track rates to trigger transformative reform
4. Invent new models
5. Accelerate preparation for postsecondary success
6. Provide stable funding for systemic reform
JFF found that only three states, one of which is Texas, have made progress on all six pillars since 2002.
This report released by the National Governor’s Association in 2009 notes that Texas is implementing many of the necessary steps recommended to tackle the dropout problem.
- 1 of only 20 states with a maximum compulsory attendance age of 18
- Allows individuals up to age 26 to attend public schools to promote high school graduation for all
- Holds schools and districts accountable by including dropout rates and graduation rates in the state accountability system
- Texas is 1 of 22 states that calculate and publicly report dropout rates based on longitudinal data
- Texas is 1 of only 15 states that factor the four-year longitudinal graduation rates into the state accountability system
The report notes that the four-year longitudinal dropout rate is the most accurate means of portraying the dropout problem. In Texas, out of 300,488 students in the class of 2008, 79.1% graduated, 8.9% continued in high school the year following their anticpated graduation, 1.5% received GEDs, and 10.5% dropped out of school.
A TEA brief draws from NGA reports and shows that Texas ranks 7th nationally among 26 states that were found to use the "Compact Rate," which is a four-year, on-time graduation rate using actual student data over estimates.
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