Tag: Center for the Social Organization of Schools


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Watch: Robert Balfanz on Fixing America’s Dropout Factories


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As the pioneering researcher who developed the Promoting Power Index of measuring high school academic failure and the man who coined the term ‘”dropout factories“, Robert Balfanz knows all too…

As the pioneering researcher who developed the Promoting Power Index of measuring high school academic failure and the man who coined the term ‘”dropout factories“, Robert Balfanz knows all too well about how the nation’s worst public schools retard the educational destinies of the children who attend them. From his perspective, it is as critical to turn around these schools as it is to deal with other causes of racial-, ethnic- and gender-based achievement gaps.

Watch this video of Balfanz’s testimony before the House Education and Labor Committee earlier this year on the need to reform the worst high schools (you can watch other HEL videos at the majority leadership’s YouTube page. And pay attention to his most-important point of all: Improving the quality of American public education — and helping all children achieve their fullest potential — isn’t insurmountable. It can be done — and it should.

You can also watch other Dropout Nation videos on YouTube.

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This is Dropout Nation: Philadelphia


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When it comes to students dropping out, the City of Brotherly Love is actually the Metropolis of Scholastic Sorrow. Less than 47 percent of the freshmen who made up the…

When it comes to students dropping out, the City of Brotherly Love is actually the Metropolis of Scholastic Sorrow. Less than 47 percent of the freshmen who made up the city’s Classes of 2000 through 2005 actually made it to graduation; between 30 percent and 35 percent of their respective classmates dropped out. The rest were either still enrolled or had transferred out of their respective schools; they will likely drop out too.

Check out this map, originally in the original Unfilled Promise report co-authored by Johns Hopkins researchers Robert Balfanz and Ruth Curran Neild — part of their long-term research on developing early indicators of potential dropouts. Then consider how we can address these issues block by city block, no matter where you live.


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