This article considers the practical, conceptual, and empirical foundations of an early identification and intervention system for middle-grades schools to combat student disengagement and increase graduation rates in our nation’s cities. Many students in urban schools become disengaged at the start of the middle grades, which greatly reduces the odds that they will eventually graduate.
We use longitudinal analyses—following almost 13,000 students from 1996 until 2004—to demonstrate how four predictive indicators reflecting poor attendance, misbehavior, and course failures in sixth grade can be used to identify 60% of the students who will not graduate from high school. Fortunately, by combining effective whole-school reforms with attendance, behavioral, and extra-help interventions, graduation rates can be substantially increased.
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Preventing Student Disengagement and Keeping Students on the Graduation Path in Urban Middle-Grades Schools: Early Identification and Effective Interventions. Robert Balfanz, Lisa Herzog, Douglas J. Mac Iver. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 42(4), 223–235 Copyright 2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.