Dropout Solutions That Work

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 15, 2008; 10:08 AM

I am starting this column with a chart, something journalists are never supposed to do. I found it on page 179 of a new book with one of those titles, "The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education," that scholars consider necessary but discourages readers. I beg you to stay with me, because this particular chart is surprising and important (I have changed the formatslightly to make it easier to absorb).

Table 9-1. Interventions that Demonstrably Raise the High School Graduation Rate

(Intervention -- Extra high school graduates if intervention is given to 100 students)

¿ 1. Perry Preschool Program (1.8 years of a center-based program for 2.5 hours per weekday, child-teacher ratio of 5:1; home visits; group meetings of parents.) 19 extra graduates.

¿ 2. First Things First (Comprehensive school reform based on small learning communities with dedicated teachers, family advocates and instructional improvement efforts.) 16 extra graduates.

¿ 3. Chicago Child-Parent Center program (Center-based preschool program: parental involvement, outreach and health/nutrition services. Based in public schools.) 11 extra graduates.

¿ 4. Project STAR: class size reduction (4 years of schooling in grades K-3 with class size reduced from 25 to 15.) 11 extra graduates.

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