THE LOST KIDS PROJECT: HOW URBAN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THAT ARE OVER-AGED AND UNDER-CREDENTIALED AND HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS DESCRIBE THEIR NEEDS DEFICITS
Carter, Joseph B
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Every day, 7,000 students drop out of America’s high schools. That adds up to about 1.3 million students who will not graduate with their peers (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2011, p. 1). With 1.2 million students dropping out of high school every year, the high school dropout rate is a significant problem with negative consequences for both the students and for society as a whole. While the U.S. Department of Education announced that the nation's high school graduation rate hit an all-time high of 82% in 2013-14 (“U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High,” 2015, p. 1), most large urban school districts are struggling to get their graduation rates to 70%. In Philadelphia, the four-year graduation rate is 65% (Socolar, 2015). In Chicago, the graduation rate is 66%, as measured by the five-year graduation rate (Perez, 2015). One of the strategies that Philadelphia and Chicago are using to increase their graduation rates is opening accelerated high schools for students who are over-aged and under-credentialed to earn their high school diplomas. These accelerated high schools are not computer-based half-day programs; instead they rely on longer school days, remediation in literacy and numeracy, and a structured behavior environment to support their students in earning their high school diploma. The researcher will use archived student surveys of accelerated students enrolled in the Camelot Education’s accelerated high schools in Philadelphia and Chicago to uncover, identify and describe factors that impeded students from matriculating through high school and receiving their high school diploma. This study will identify a common profile and description of students in Camelot Education’s accelerated high schools. This study will use descriptive statistics to summarize, identify, describe and quantify what students report contribute to their becoming academically off track and making the decision to leave high school without earning their diploma. The profile and descriptions from this study will equip school leaders to explore innovative school and program designs that meet the needs of students that are over-aged and under-credentialed in large urban cities.