Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school? is a useful Washington Post article reviewing research about what factors accurately predict high school graduation.
And standardized test scores aren’t one of them.
Here’s another important quote in the article that clearly justifies our school’s heavy emphasis on ninth-graders’ success (as does previous research – see Important Article — “Ninth Grade: The Most Important Year in High School”):
Allensworth’s research on the strong correlation between the number of courses ninth-graders pass and the high school graduation rate persuaded Chicago school officials to begin closely tracking the passing rate of freshmen, going to new lengths to make sure that students were coming to school regularly and engaging in class.
Of course, as the article indicates, doing this right requires resources – which are not always available….