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Online classes target high school dropouts

Arizona district is the latest to turn to an online education program to boost graduation rates

Sunnyside’s GradLink is the latest online education program to reach out to high school dropouts in an effort to boost graduation rates.

Arizona’s Sunnyside Unified School District has become the latest K-12 school system to turn to online instruction to help high school dropouts earn their diplomas.

Tucson, Ariz., mayor Jonathan Rothschild is teaming up with the Sunnyside Unified School District to recruit high school dropouts into an online education program to get their degrees.

Rothschild and Sunnyside Superintendent Manuel L. Isquierdo, a 2010 winner of the Tech-Savvy Superintendent Awards from eSchool Media, on Jan. 3 announced GradLink, an online education program that aims to enroll 100 recent Tucson-area dropouts into online classes.

GradLink meets a goal of the Mayor’s Education Task Force, which is to improve high school graduation rates, said Rothschild at a news conference at his office.

“A high school diploma is a necessity in today’s job market,” Rothschild said. “Without one, it’s hard to get hired at a job that can support a family. The bottom line is that the way out of poverty is through education.”

(Next page: How the program works—and how it will be launched without any startup costs)

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Comments:

  1. TheProf

    January 8, 2013 at 1:12 am

    How do they know students would be successful in an online environment? Experience has shown that it takes self-regulation and time management skills to do well in virtual courses. Why would students do well here when they didn’t before?

    • danettemcalexander

      January 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Good Morning!

      Personally, in my career as an educator, and as the current Dropout Prevention Specialist for HPSD, I have found that students who drop out of high school do so for many reasons–not necessarily those due to lack of self-regulation and/or time management skills. I dropped out after completing 11th grade for several reasons that included having to work to support myself, teen pregnancy and school day/time scheduling issues. After dropping out and earning my GED, I went on to earn an Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. However, the most important and effective degree I am in the process of completing,is the one life has provided me as a result of the decisions that I have made (both good and bad) along the way. :-) :-)

      Danette McAlexander