Predicting Graduation from Prior Academic Achievement, Attendance, and Behavior: A Quantitative Analysis

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this study was to analyze high school graduation rates from prior academic achievement, attendance, and behavior in one school system over 4 years. The study addressed three questions, which of the students included in this study dropped out of high school, how exclusionary discipline affected students' attendance at school and their ability to graduate. In addition, for the students who dropped out, what was their exclusionary discipline rate, what was their chronic absenteeism rate, and what was the leading cause of students not graduating on time? By examining specific predictors, we can gain insight into why some students fail to graduate high school on time or drop out early. Keeping track of essential indicators such as attendance, behavior, and academic achievement in the classroom will increase the likelihood of students graduating after 4 years of high school. Using the comparative case study approach, this study compared four cohorts of students who graduated from one urban high school. A correlational, nonexperimental design was used. After the data were analyzed, using descriptive statistics and mean averages of the variables, it was discovered that, across three of the four study cohort clusters, there was a consistent overrepresentation of Hispanic male English language learners (ELLs) who experienced some type of exclusionary discipline, and who failed their Standards of Learning English reading/writing and mathematics assessments leading to them dropping out of school. As a result of tracking students' academics, attendance, and behaviors, schools can design professional development for teachers and school administrators to identify at-risk students early and assist them in preventing failure. In the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, academic warning indicator systems must be more representative of diverse student populations. This research supplements past fieldwork on this topic.

Graduation Rate, Dropout, Attendance, Exclusionary Discipline, Academic Achievement, Sliders