Some of the questions I am attempting to address are: why are African American and Latino students dropping out of high school at an astounding rate? Is there any difference when students get greater attention from advocate- counselors, and smaller class room sizes? And what are the expectations that families and teacher have on each other? In this Life arts project I focused on the impact of families and teachers involvement in high school drop outs. Literature Review
What initiatives are in place to prevent high school students from dropping out of school? Researcher has found that three out of ten Latino students dropout of high school, and one out of five African American students has also dropout out of high school. Understanding and addressing the issues surrounding students who drop out of high school is a continuous concern and pressing issues in school districts around the country. Over the past 20 years, the high school dropout rate has declined. (Center for Labor Market Studies, 2009 Cited in Featherston, B.
Carl, 2010) Some of the research has been done through qualitative methods, while other research was conducted using questionnaires and more quantitative methods. High school drop out rate has decreased from 14. 1 in 1980 to 8. 0 in 2008 (US Department of Education, 2010) for example, this is the case for African American and Latino students. The amount of African American students dropping out of school between the age of 16-24 also decreased from 19. 1 percent rate from 1980 to a 9. 0 in 2008, and decreased have also been demonstrated by Latino students, 35. percent rate in 1980 to a 18. 2 in 2008, (US Department of Education, 2010) These alarming high school dropout rates have pushed researchers and practitioners alike to distinguish the contributing factors causing students to drop out of high school. (Featherston 2010) Reflective Analysis When I was a high school student, I myself (being of African American descent) was an at risk student on the verge of dropping out of school. If not for my Micro system support team, “Micro system- A concept associated with Bronfenbrenners’ ecological theory.
The micro system includes social systems closest to child’s daily life, such as the classroom teacher and home. ” (Coleman 2013), I might have not succeeded in obtaining a high school diploma. “Understanding and addressing issues surrounding students who drop out of high school is a continuous concern and pressing issue in districts around the country. Over the past 20 years, the high school dropout rate has declined, but African Americans and Latinos still have the highest dropout rates in the country……. ” (Center for labor Market Studies, 2009)
Contributing Factors Many of us are concerned with the fact that there are little job in our economy today, despite the fact that unemployment is at an all time high; today’s young people are having a difficult time finding jobs. The competition is rough, and for young people with out high school diplomas are even rougher. Why do students drop out of high schools? Here are some contributing factors, and preventive method addressing academic achievement. “Many issues surrounding the decision to dropping out of school stems beyond the students immediate grasp.
Among these factors are academic achievement, socio economic status, and student behavior. Student engagement is facilitated by all of these factors and gives a clear view as into why students drop out of high school. ”(Featherston, 2010) Another contributing factor was that my family was a vulnerable family. In this course we learned that Vulnerable Families are families, who, because of their life circumstances, experience financial, emotional, and physical stress that can impair their functioning and well-being.
The two examples used in our course books were, homeless families and working-poor families. At times we where both, along with no money to pay bills, we would find our self moving from home to home. Sometimes living with extended family members (by the way, you ever heard of the saying “theirs no place like home) well that saying is absolutely true!!!! So without adding the details, you could clearly see why I had to grow up so fast at an early age, and man up, which contributed to my failing grades. One of the major causes of students dropping out of high school is the accumulation of failing marks. Studies show that academic failure has the greatest impact on a student’s decision to drop out of school” (Suh, Suh, 2007) In my experience as a teacher assistant, at the alternative high school, for the City of New Rochelle’s Board of Education, I have seen many students dropout of school. If fact academic achievement is one of the leading reason student’s dropout at the institution I am affiliated with.
In my opinion, student behavior is affiliated with poor academic behavior, which I think is a result for students being put out of school, or dropping out of school. To illustrate, when I was in high school, I failed to do homework, or take notes in class, obviously I was lost when it came to the course martial. I said to myself, what’s the point of coming to class if I don’t understand the class work. I could blame my parents for not staying together for the benefit of their children, but my parents broke up a long time ago, and I was the man of the house, being the oldest of three siblings.
I toke this responsibility on, all by myself, and my mother who work long days, long nights, and occasionally on the weekend would be a weekend drunk, had vary little input when it came to making sure we went to school etc…….. “Shared factors associated with academic failure were the limited educational enrichment resources. ” (Suh, Suh, 2007) Being the oldest of three siblings meant I had to share the responsibility with my mom, on keeping the family together. This meant getting my two younger rother up and ready for school each day, bathing and feeding them, etc……….. Being the oldest meant, at an early age, I understood about the financial responsibilities that my mom was having a difficult time with. I learned how to be a man from men in my community (tie a tie, work for your money, etc….. ), and I understood only money could help my mom in her situation. So I began to look in my community for ways I could get money to help the family progress, and be healthy. As a youth I had plenty of jobs, which consisted of working long hour at night and on the weekend.
This definitely had an impact on my academic achievements, which resulted in me getting bad grades. Certainly I fell so far behind, that I felt, I was stupid. So I did everything under the sun (bullying, cutting class, not coming to school for academic’s, but showing up for football practice) to divert attention away from my academic’s issues. I already had a plan, if I was ever confronted with the fact that I was a troublemaker, I would quiet, and I just needed a reason. Benefit of family involvement
There is limited amount of research on the benefits of family involvement for families themselves. Nevertheless, Coleman has reasonably hypothesize at least five benefits that should result when teachers and families collaborate to honor each others’ expectations and share responsibility for educating, socializing, and protecting children. (Coleman 2013), Parents’ knowledge of child development, schools sometime publish flyers to educate families about the physical, mental, and social “readiness skills”. Coleman 2013), Example, family participation practice can boost parents’ knowledge of child development and in turn, provide them with better insight into their children’s classroom performance. Parenting skills, teachers support children’s development and education not only in the classroom but also by responding to parents’ questions and concerns about their children’s behavior. (Coleman 2013), example, parents sometimes ask for help in addressing what they perceive to be unusual childhood behavior or a behavior that is out of character for their child.
Parents may also ask for help in to such requests benefits children and families in the short and long term (knopf & Swick, 2008 cited in Coleman 2013). Parents’ Self-Confidence as Advocated for their Children, to form a truly collaborative family-teacher partnership, parents need the self-confidence to advocate for their children’s education and general welfare (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler,& Brissie, 1992; Hoover- Dempsey & Sander, 1995, 1997, cited in Coleman 2013) Colman states that as a teacher, you can strengthen parents’ self-confidence by their children’s development and education.
Also teachers should remind parents of how they contribute to their children’s well being by listening to their concerns and answering their questions….. (Coleman 2013) Parents’ Creativity, Coleman talks about family strategies provides opportunities to keep parents engaged in their children’s learning experiences. They also stimulate parents’ creativity in promoting their children’s emerging skills at home and in the community.
Higher educational aspirations, with support, children are able to live up to their parents’ academic expectation (Fan & Chen, 2001, cited in Coleman 2013) Family involvement can contribute to positive outcome and decrease at risk student behavior by increasing parent’s self- confidence and creativity in helping their children develop the skills and motivation needed to stay in school. Benefits of family involvement for teachers As with families, relatively little attention has been devoted to studying the benefits of families involvement for teachers.
Nevertheless, Colman identifies at least five potential benefits. Understanding the “ecological child”, because of their training, teachers naturally tend to focus on the “classroom child”. Only by considering the “ecological child” can we truly understand how children’s classroom performance is grounded in family and community life. Reflect on this example, cultural macrosystems. One hallmark of socially competent children in high-context cultures (e. g. African American students or Latino students) is their mastery of subtle contextual communication signals (e. g. nonverbal facial and hand gestures) rather than explicit verbalizations(Han & Thomas, 2010, cited in Coleman 2013) children from low- context cultures ( e. g. , United State, Western Europe, Australia) are taught to value just the opposite. They are encouraged to be direct in their verbal communication rather than rely on subtle forms of nonverbal communication. QUESTIONNAIRE I am asking these questions in order to gather information about what happens to students as they move through high school and make decision about what they are going to do after high school.
Student at the New Rochelle Alternative High School, where I am employed, were told that their responses will be combined with those of other respondents, and the answers they give will never be identified as their own. Former students who drop out of school and participated in this questionnaire were also told that the answers they give will never be identified as their own. 1) Thinking back to yours in high school, do you remember when you frist thought about leaving school? (Circle one) yes no 2) Here are some reasons students might use for leaving school which one applies or might apply to you.
Circle which one you think applies to you. • I had a job. • I found a job. • I don’t like school. • I couldn’t get along with the teachers. • I couldn’t get along with the other students. • I wanted to have a family. • (FOR FEMALES ONLY) I was pregnant. • I became the father/mother of a baby. • I had to support my family. • I was suspended too often. • I did not feel safe at school. • I wanted to travel. • My friends had dropped out of school. • I had to care for a member of my family. • I was expelled from school. • I felt I didn’t belong at school. • I couldn’t keep up with my school work. • I was failing school. I got married or planned to get married. • I change school and didn’t like my new school. • I couldn’t work or go to school at the same time. 3) Do you plan to get a high school diploma or GED? YESNO References Coleman, M. (2013) Empowering Family – Teacher Partnerships, glossary Featherston, B. Carl, (2010) Review of higher education and self - learning, High School dropout prevention: a review of the literature, (7) 68-75 Robelen, W. Erik, (2006, November 15) Education week. Detailed Dropout Studies Guide Policy in City Schools, 26, 8-9 Suh, S. , & Suh J. (2007). Risk Factors and Levels of Risk for High School Dropouts.
Professional School Counseling, 10(3), 297-306. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database. US Department of Education Institution of Education Science. (2010). Fast Fact. In The Condition of Education 2010 (NCES 20100-028). Retrieved 11/16/2012, from http://nces. ed. gov/fastfacts/display. asp? id=16. US Department of Education. (2009). Anniversary of Title VI Marks Progress and Reminds us that Every Child has the Right to an Education. In ED. gov. Retrieved 08/20/2010, from Http://www2. ed. gov/news/pressreleases/2009/07/0701200-a. html. Wallis, Claudia (2007, May 14) Stopping the Exodus. (169) 177-179