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From Periphery to Center: A New Vision for Family, School, and Community Partnerships (May 2009)
Written by Harvard Family Research Project's Heather Weiss and Naomi Stephen, this chapter‚??which will appear in the Handbook of School‚??Family Partnerships, edited by Sandy Christenson, Ph.D. and Amy Reschley, Ph.D.‚??presents a comprehensive, integrated family, school, and community partnership framework that can help level the playing field for disadvantaged children and ensure that they have access to the parental involvement and community engagement practices of their more advantaged peers in order to enhance their learning.
The Costs of Confinement: Why Good Juvenile Justice Policies Make Good Fiscal Sense (May 2009)

This policy brief details how states can see a net reduction in costs by moving expenditures away from large, congruent care facilities (often called "training schools") for youth and investing in community-based alternatives. Such a resource realignment can reap better results for communities, taxpayers, and children. Evidence is growing that there are cost-effective policies and programs for intervening in the lives of delinquent youth which actually improve community safety and outcomes for children. While there is no silver bullet that will guarantee reductions in crime, policies that include prevention and intervention for youth in the community have been shown to have a positive public safety benefit. Major findings and recommendations for reform are included.

School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors Among Youth (Apr. 2009)

Children and adolescents are establishing patterns of behavior and making lifestyle choices that affect both their current and future health. Families, schools, and communities all need to work together to create an environment that facilitates healthy development of children and adolescents. Research has shown that students who feel more connected to school are more likely to have positive health and education outcomes. The six strategies outlined in this publication provide a framework for increasing students' connectedness to school. In combination with evidence-based health promotion programs, strategies such as these can help schools have the greatest impact on the health and education outcomes of their students.

Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16- to 24-Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School (Apr. 2009)

This Congressional Research Service (CRS) analysis expands the existing research on disconnected youth. The analysis uses Current Population Survey (CPS) data to construct a definition of ‚??disconnected.‚?Ő This definition includes noninstitutionalized youth ages 16 through 24 who did not work or attend school anytime during a previous year and are presently not working or in school (usually sometime in the first quarter of the current year).
Authors: Adrienne L. Fernandes, Thomas Gabe

Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle The Dropout Crisis

America's Promise Alliance commissioned Grad Nation, a new tool comprising the best evidence-based practices for keeping young people in school paired with suggestions for effectively preparing them for life after high school. It is a guidebook that provides a road map to help communities tackle the dropout crisis. It is designed to help communities develop tailored plans for keeping students on track to graduate from high school, prepared for college, work and life. Grad Nation includes ready-to-print tools and links to additional online resources, in addition to research-based guidance. It provides information and tools for developing and implementing a customized program that's right for individual communities.

NCLB High School Graduation Rate Guidance - Dec. 2008

Non-Regulatory Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.  December 22, 2008

Compulsory School Age Requirements (April 2009)

Summary of minimum & maximum compulsory school age requirements for 50 U.S. states and DC, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
Author: Melodye Bush, Education Commission of the States

Dropouts in the Denver Public Schools: Early Warning Signals and Possibilities for Prevention and Recovery (April 2009)

The study analyzed data from the 3,657 students who dropped out of Denver schools in the 2006-07 year, finding common characteristics. In ninth grade, most dropouts had gotten at least one F that year, a third had four or more F's in a semester, and two-thirds had missed 20 or more days of school. In sixth grade, one third of the dropouts had been failing at least one course, 44 percent had missed more than 20 days of school, and one in five had at least one suspension. Most dropouts were male, 61 percent were Latino, and 84 percent quit in high school, with most kids leaving freshman year. While the overall gist of the report is not news to Denver educators, it underscores the urgency of the issue and the need to reengage disaffected teens and intervene as early as possible.
Authors: Martha Abele Mac Iver, Robert Balfanz, & Vaughan Byrnes, The Center for Social Organization of Schools, Johns Hopkins University

Removing Roadblocks to Rigor: Linking Academic & Social Supports to Ensure College Readiness & Success (April 2009)

Pathways to College Network commissioned this paper to focus on an understanding of what is meant by "academic and social support." The paper proposes a unifying framework in which academic and social support policies and practices go hand-in-hand with increased expectations and student success. Social support builds the networks, connectedness, and motivation which underpin students' willingness and capacity to take advantage of academic strategies such as tutoring, learning communities, and other helpful policies and practices. In other words, social support provides the foundation on which students are most likely to benefit from academic support strategies.
Mandy Savitz-Romer, Joie Jager-Hyman, & Ann Coles - Pathways to College Network, Institute for Higher Education Policy

Selected States' Responses to Supporting High School English Language Learners (Apr. 2009)

This brief begins with a national snapshot of the achieve­ment and educational outcomes of ELLs and efforts to improve the assessment and reporting of these outcomes. It then focuses on the efforts of Florida, California, Texas, and New York--the four states with the largest population of ELLs in schools--to use their state-level accountability systems and the NCLB mandate to implement and refine policies designed to support ELLs at the high school level. This brief also examines how state departments of education and Regional Comprehensive Centers in the selected states collaborate to promote positive changes to help strengthen the education of ELLs at the secondary level. The profiles of these states are intended (a) to provide a nuanced picture of how states with large populations of ELLs are using the NCLB mandate to improve educational outcomes for ELLs at the high school level and (b) to chart the considerable ground left to cover if we are to see significant, widespread and concrete gains in the support of ELL students.

Author: Nanette Koelsch, WestEd

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