NC Committee on Dropout Prevention Meeting Summary

April 15, 2010

Representative Earline Parmon Co-Chair-Presiding

Senator Don Davis-Co-Chair

Tarheel Challenge: Program reviewed at Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee April 13, 2010. Information contained in the Summary meeting notes.

Review of 2009 Dropout Prevention Grant Process Debora Williams presented to the Committee details on how to access information about Dropout Prevention and Intervention on the Department of Public Instruction’s web site.

Dropout Prevention and High School Graduation Commission Interim Report: Staff presented the Commission’s findings and recommendations in their final report.

1. Bill Draft to amend the criteria used by the Committee on Dropout Prevention for awarding the grants. To date $36 million in grants have been awarded with another $13 million budgeted for 2010-2011. The change is to focus new grants for those counties with equal quality applications and who have no grant recipients.

  • Bill Draft also includes language to give priority to programs serving students with a graduation rate less than 60 percent in the most recent school year and one of two prior years or a performance composite below 50 percent.
  • Bill Draft also includes language for the use of evaluations in awarding grants and to give priority to those who use multiple successful program elements in their proposal.
  • Bill Draft also includes $100,000 for the Committee on Dropout Prevention to assess successful dropout grant programs and to assess and track the progress of programs who have grants or who have received grants previously. The assessment  shall also include the following:
    • Analyze longitudinal data by district to determine what characteristics identify students most likely to dropout.
    • Create a data file that includes academic, behavioral and other student data to determine which variables best predict students at risk of dropping out.
    • Identify “Beating the Odds” combinations of high schools and middle schools which serve at risk populations in ways that have significantly reduced the dropout rates.
    • Identify programs that are successful at encouraging subgroups of at risk students to complete high school.
    • Develop procedures for collecting data to identify factors key to success.
    • Identify critical benchmarks for evaluation.
    • The Study shall be designed and conducted under the direction of the Dropout Prevention Committee.

2. The Commission strongly supports the development and implementation of the P-20 longitudinal data system and requests students educated through the Dept. of Juvenile Justice, be included in the data.

3. The Commission strongly encourages LEAs to use EVAAS.

4. Bill Draft to direct the Board of Governors in conjunction with DPI and Independent Colleges and Universities to study an increase to the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17 or 18. The study shall examine other states to determine effects and costs.

5. Bill Draft to appropriate $6,024,091 to Communities in Schools to place no fewer than 100 graduation coaches in either middle or high schools giving priority to schools with 60 percent or less graduation rate or performance composite below 50 percent.

6. Bill Draft to direct the State Board of Education:Develop a growth model prior to 2010-2011 school year establishing goals for improvement of the four-year cohort graduation rate.
Establish a short-term goal that LEAs meet the annual model beginning with the graduating class of 2011.
Develop a long-term goal for a four-year cohort graduation rate of 90 percent by 2016.

7. Bill Draft to require LEAs to identify students not progressing towards graduation and to provide personal education plans for those students and to annually report to the State Board of Education on the strategies and successes of focused intervention for those students. The State Board shall consider implementation of a program to provide LEAs with assistance and professional development to effectively identify students who are at risk of academic failure or who are not making progress towards graduation. Representative Tarelton brought this bill to Committee and it was added to the final report.

The Committee has completed their work and approved the above mentioned recommendations. There were some minor changes to the Dropout Grants bill (first bill) and further adjustments by staff. Those will be completed and available when the bill is introduced next month, after Session reconvenes.

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