Click the link above to check out the coverage and interview. I also strongly encourage reading the full article: "Avoidable Losses: High-Stakes Accountability and the Dropout Crisis." Very thoughtful and well supported research. Personal props to Dr. Heilig. -Patricia
By Carolyn Campbell / 11 News
February 14, 2008
Keyla Aguilar is working harder in all of her classes these days.
Joshua Tenorio is doing the same.
Well, they’re both getting a second chance to graduate from high school.
You see, before coming to Raul Yzaguirre School for Success, Keyla had dropped out of the public high school she was attending, and Joshua was close to it. “The school was overcrowded like a lot of classes were 30, 40 students.”
Joshua says he wasn’t able to get the personalized help he needed.
Teenage complaint perhaps, but his claim is supported in a new study by Rice University and the University of Texas.
The study links Texas’ high dropout rate to the states’ accountability system “No child left behind.”
So, the very program designed to make sure kids perform better may actually be pushing them out.
“The system as its constructed doesn’t provide incentives for keeping them in because these are the very kids who are gonna score the lowest on the tests,” said Eileen Coppola with Rice University.
According to the study, every year, Texas public high schools lose at least 135,000 students before graduation.
“We get a lot of those kids because they need a smaller campus, smaller classroom so that more attention ca be provided them,” said school principal Richard Farrias.
Researchers hope this new report will help educators do more to make sure all students are successful.