Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students through Dropout Recovery

The Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy has released a new policy brief, Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students through Dropout Recovery.

Each year, thousands of Massachusetts students drop out of school. The path forward for these students is difficult, and failing to fully educate the next generation of workers and leaders has substantial long-term consequences for our shared economic and social well-being. While recent policies have focused on dropout prevention, a more systemic approach is needed to connect with students who have already left school and enable districts to effectively re-enroll out-of-school youth.
 
To address this, Boston Public Schools has established the Re-Engagement Center, a dropout recovery program that strives to re-enroll out-of-school youth through outreach, personal connections, and a variety of educational options that support students to graduation. The Rennie Center conducted a case study of the Re-Engagement Center in Spring/Summer 2012. The brief begins by discussing the role of dropout recovery as a strategy to increase the graduation rate, identifies common practices in other dropout recovery models, and documents the development and operation of the Re-Engagement Center. The brief then identifies promising practices and ongoing challenges of this program, and concludes by offering considerations—based on literature and research findings—for school and district leaders, community partners, and state policymakers.
 
This policy brief was produced with support from the Barr Foundation and the Hyams Foundation and released at an event on November 13 at the John A. Shelburne Community Center.

Download the full policy brief here.