New database aims to help Michigan schools stop dropouts

One in every four Michigan students will not graduate from high school with their class, a fact that is forcing the state to take a new approach to preventing dropouts, reports the Detroit Free Press. Starting this fall, the state is introducing a database that for the first time pulls together in one place three dropout indicators referred to as the ABCs. These are attendance, behavior, and classwork. About 70 percent of students who display problems in one of these areas is in danger of dropping out, according to the Michigan Department of Education. Previously, grades, attendance, and behavior problems were tracked, but not in the same place. The goal is to make it easier for schools to identify students at risk of dropping out—and to do it at a younger age, in middle school or even elementary school. “Dropouts are not born, they are created,” state Superintendent Mike Flanagan said Aug. 11. Typically, he said, dropouts display one or more of the ABC symptoms for a period of years. This means the dropout crisis should be solvable, especially if schools have time to intervene earlier…

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