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25th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference

November 3 - 6, 2013
Crowne Plaza Ravinia
Atlanta, GA

Conference Information
Registration and exhibitor applications will be available on May 15th.
The opening keynote speaker at the 25th Annual NDPN Conference in Atlanta will be Dr. William Bennett, author, political theorist, and former U.S. Secretary of Education. Dr. Bennett is the host of a nationally broadcast radio show “Bill Bennett's Morning in America.” He is one of America's most important, influential, and respected voices on culture, politics, and education.


Webcast Information

Engaging Families and the Community as an Alternative to Expulsion: An Innovative Approach to Dropout Prevention

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
3:30 - 4:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time
Dr. Karen Cooper-Haber will provide an overview of one school district’s efforts to focus on the family in dealing with discipline problems and providing alternatives to expulsion through employing family therapists in delivering multisystemic prevention and intervention services.

Sale of the Month

Creating a Sense of Place and Belonging: How to Meet the Emotional Needs of K-12 Students (2004) by Dolores A. Stegelin and Beatrice Bailey. ES0402. ISBN 1-933072-01-6. This publication presents the case for properly serving the emotional needs of students by creating a sense of place and belonging for our diverse student population. The authors provide specific concrete strategies that serve to emotionally anchor students within the classroom setting. Ordering Information
Suggested Reading From Our NDPC Fellows
NDPC Research Fellow, Pat O'Connor, along with colleagues Davison Mupinga and Emily Parker, co-authored an article, "Assisting Below-Level Readers in the CTE Classroom," in the April issue of the ACTE journal Techniques. O'Connor coordinates the CTE teacher education program of the CTE Project funded by the Ohio Division of Career-Technical Education and the Office for Exceptional Children in collaboration with Kent State University. Mupinga is on the CTE faculty team at Kent State University, and Emily Parker is an intervention specialist for Akron Public Schools. You can also read about findings and strategies related to below-level readers in the CTE classroom in an article published by the CTE Project.


Effective Strategies
Early Interventions

No Rich Child Left Behind written by Sean F. Reardon for the New York Times describes how, in the United States over the last few decades, the differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially.


Top Stories
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform by the National Commission on Excellence in Education formed by U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell.

Education Week marks the anniversary of the landmark report with A Nation at Risk: Where are We Now?, which highlights comparative data on selected aspects of American education over the decades since the report, highlighting academic, demographic, and other trends.

U.S. Department of Education, A Nation Accountable: Twenty-five Years After A Nation at Risk, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Teacher Town Halls: A Summary of Findings and Impact is based on survey responses and feedback from more than 2,000 teachers in communities across the country who participated in a dozen teacher town halls, organized by local public media stations with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During the town halls, text polling was used to quickly capture teachers’ answers to questions, and immediately following each event, teachers were invited to participate in follow-up surveys that assessed how the town hall discussion impacted their thoughts on the dropout crisis.


Media
A new episode of TAVIS SMILEY REPORTS, a primetime special on PBS, looks at the connection between the juvenile justice system and the dropout rate among American teens, as well as the efforts by educators, law enforcement professionals, judges, youth advocates, and the at-risk teens themselves to end what has become known as "the school-to-prison pipeline."

The Fordham Institute and AEI created this video featuring the current and many former Secretaries of Education to recall the impact of A Nation at Risk and to reflect on what lies ahead.

30 Years On, Educators Still Divided On Scathing Schools Report from NPR's All Things Considered.

Rita Pierson, Sir Ken Robinson, and Geoffrey Canada answer the question, "Is the country doing enough to solve the dropout crisis?" TED Talks Unplugged from American Graduate

"Help Your Peers Stay in School" featuring General and Mrs. Colin L. Powell, is a video from Discovery Education.


Policy
The U.S. Department of Education announced that beginning with the 2014-2015 federal student aid form, the Department will—for the first time—collect income and other information from a dependent student's legal parents regardless of the parents' marital status or gender if those parents live together.

Is Your State Providing Equal Access to Education? ProPublica's Opportunity Gap database includes all public schools in districts with more than 3,000 students from the 2009-2010 school year—about three-quarters of all such students in the country. You can use it to find out how well your state provides poor and wealthier schools equal access to advanced classes that researchers say will help them later in life.

The State of Preschool 2012, by the National Institute for Early Education Research, based at Rutgers University, catalogs a decade of declining spending for state preschool. The report indicates that spending on state-funded preschool dropped by more than half a billion dollars in the 2011-12 school year compared to the year before, creating a hole that some states are only now attempting to fill.


International
Middle Class or Middle of the Pack? What We Can Learn When Benchmarking U.S. Schools Against the World's Best? This report authored by America Achieves illustrates that in the United States, people generally view education through the lens of their own children and their own schools. Many Americans think a serious need for better educational performance is largely restricted to low-income children and families—and that middle class lifestyles equate to a world-class education. While this need for low-income students is very real and very important, this report suggests that the need for better education extends deeply into America’s middle class.


Students with Disabilities
Florida Senate takes aim at testing mandates for students with disabilities. Florida lawmakers say they are ready to challenge the federal government over standardized testing requirements for students with disabilities.

No Child Left Behind District Waivers Derided by Civil Rights, Disabilities Groups. In a letter these groups wrote to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan—and forwarded to The Huffington Post—they argue that the price of giving school districts that kind of flexibility is too high, especially when it comes to student achievement.

Technology for Life: How Students With Disabilities Are Attending College At Record Rates 415% more students with disabilities are now attending college compared to 35 years ago.


Events
May 24th, 12:00 - 1:30 EST. The National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities is hosting a free webinar Early Intervention Matters: How Addressing Chronic Absence Can Reduce Dropout Rates, presented by Hedy Chang and Cecelia Leong with Attendance Works.

The National Center for Research on Rural Education has archived all of the presentation materials from the 2013 National Conference on Rural Education Research, Connect-Inform-Advance.


Funding
The U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced they will invest the majority of the 2013 Race to the Top funds for a second Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge competition. About $370 million will be available this year for states to develop new approaches to increase high-quality early learning opportunities and close the school readiness gap. The National Dropout Prevention Center has long identified and reported that Early Interventions are extremely important in dropout prevention.


Resources & Tools
The School Climate Resource Center is an interactive and data-driven multimedia web resource. The SCRC helps the entire school learn and work together to support effective school climate reform by providing school staff with indispensable information, research-based guidelines, practical tools, comprehensive learning modules, and an interactive social network.

Doing What Works: Research-Based Education Practices Online is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of DWW is to create an online library of resources that may help teachers, schools, districts, states, and technical assistance providers implement research-based instructional practice.

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science.


Feedback
We appreciate comments from our readers. We invite new subscribers to receive the Dropout Prevention Update via our Sign-up Form. Please feel free to contact us at ndpc@clemson.edu