It’s not news to us, but the popular press is running an Associated Press (AP) article about the fact that high school dropouts can often be spotted by the fourth grade as though this is a stunning new revelation (this article also ran in many other news sources such as Education Week [subscription]).
This will be a revelation to others here. We heard a lot from the KERA Amen Chorus in the recent past about how we have to focus on our high schools in order to improve graduation rates.
In contrast, the Chorus told us that things were much better in the lower level schools.
However, after looking at other research, the Bluegrass Institute has always felt the dropout problem starts in elementary schools. Our now defunct CATS assessments simply were not telling us the truth about what was happening even though they apparently did fool the KERA Amen Chorus.
Now, the AP and a bunch of newspapers around the country apparently get it, too. So, yet another education fad belief – that the dropout problems were mostly in our high schools – now is headed for the trash bin.