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Predicting High School Outcomes in the Baltimore City Schools: Findings and Reflections on the Research Partnership Presentation to Council of the Great.

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Presentation on theme: "Predicting High School Outcomes in the Baltimore City Schools: Findings and Reflections on the Research Partnership Presentation to Council of the Great."— Presentation transcript:

1 Predicting High School Outcomes in the Baltimore City Schools: Findings and Reflections on the Research Partnership Presentation to Council of the Great City Schools, July 2012 Martha Abele Mac Iver Johns Hopkins University

2 Research Questions How well do the behavioral early warning indicators of dropping out identified in previous research – Attendance Behavior Course Failure predict non-graduation outcomes in Baltimore? More specifically: How do eighth and ninth grade early warning indicators compare in predicting non-graduation outcomes? How can these findings help inform district- and school- level intervention planning to help increase graduation rates?

3 Methodology Analysis used de-identified student level administrative data Determined first-time ninth grade status by checking grade status for five prior years Followed first-time 9 th grade cohorts (from and ) through final outcomes four and five years later (2008 and 2009, 2009 and 2010) Analyzed relationships between outcomes, demographic characteristics, and behavioral indicators in ninth grade and middle school years

4 Findings from Research in Baltimore Echo Results from Other Urban Districts Here we have time only to look briefly at the factors that were most important in our in- depth statistical analyses: Attendance Course Passing (See the full report for more details…)

5 Percentage Graduating On Time, By Ninth Grade Attendance Group Based on outcomes for first-time 9 th graders in by June 2008.

6 Percentage Graduating On Time, by Number of Ninth Grade Core Course Failures Based on outcomes for first-time 9 th graders in by June 2008.

7 Waiting until these indicators manifest themselves in ninth grade may be too late. Once students fail two or more courses, their probability of graduation is severely reduced. How much of students’ struggles in ninth grade is predictable by eighth grade early warning indicators? And how could these data be used to guide interventions?

8 Attendance and Ninth Grade Core Course Failure Month by Month in 9 th Grade Based on outcomes for first-time 9 th graders in

9 Eighth and Ninth Grade Attendance and Graduation Outcome Month by Month in 9 th Grade Based on outcomes for first-time 9 th graders in by June 2008.

10 Facing the Statistics on High School Course Failure Analysis of City Schools transcript records indicates that more than 42,000 high school courses (about 25% of all attempted) received a failing grade and no credit. How are we planning for students to recover this many credits? And how are we planning to reduce this rate of failure?

11 The Challenge “What is often lost in discussions of dropping out is the one factor that is most directly related to graduation – students’ performance in their courses.” (Allensworth & Easton, 2007) How do we increase attendance and course passing in ninth grade? Increasing the on-time graduation rate depends largely on these two levers. Even if they recover and graduate, students who are not passing ninth grade courses are unlikely to be college-ready.

12 Moving Forward As a critical friend, BERC can continue to encourage the implementation of a serious “cycle of inquiry” characterized by continual collection and analysis of “input” data as well as outcome data, framing of plans to improve educational processes, implementation of those plans, and then evaluation analysis that leads the cycle to begin again. This cycle of inquiry is a fundamental practice of a well- functioning “learning community,” which is what every school and school district should be – “…organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together (Senge, 1990, p. 3).”


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