This report, from the America's Promise alliance, will not surprise most people working in Oklahoma's Alternative Education programs -- they have lived these situations with their students. But it's an important report, as it spreads the word about what it takes to help young people stay in school. Here are the bullet points from the report's executive summary:
Students who leave school before graduating are often struggling with overwhelming life circumstances that push school attendance far down their priority lists.
Students who leave school before graduating are stronger than popular opinion and current research literature describe. These strengths could, with the right supports, allow them to stay in school; and these abilities do, ultimately, help many to re-engage.
Young people who leave high school need fewer easy exits from the classroom and more easy on-ramps back into education. But let's not let those be limited to, "You can take these online courses."
Young people who leave high school emphasize how much peers, parents, and other adults matter.
Everyone in a young person’s life and community can do something to help
Listen. But it’s important not only to listen to young people but also to involve them in crafting solutions.
Surround the highest-need young people with extra supports.
Identify, support, and spread proven and promising approaches.