NASBE Finds School and Community Partnerships a Critical Element in Dropout Prevention

Oct 28, 2009, 08:30 ET from National Association of State Boards of Education

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the national high school graduation rate somewhere between 60 and 70 percent, and below 50 percent in many urban areas, states, schools, and districts are compelled for many reasons to develop solutions to America's dropout crisis.


A new report from a National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) study group, Partners in Prevention: The Role of School Community Partnerships in Dropout Prevention, investigates the linkages between students at risk of dropping out, their families and the communities in which they live. In the report, the study group holds that only by implementing comprehensive dropout prevention plans that include a strong school-community partnership component will schools effectively reach struggling students.

"When a child drops out from school, the impact extends beyond that person almost exponentially to that child's family, friends, future partners, the economy and their own children," said NASBE Executive Director Brenda Welburn. "It may be a cliche, but schools and teachers cannot do it alone. Developing partnerships with a range of individuals and organizations in the community is a critical step in dropout prevention for school systems of all sizes."

The study group found that state boards of education are in a unique position to help local districts and schools work together with governmental agencies, businesses and associations to craft solutions to the dropout crisis across broad reaches of their states. The report examines the depth of the dropout crisis and partnerships as evidence-based strategies within a systemic model designed to combat the crisis.

With this in mind, the panel arrived at five recommendations for state boards prefaced by issues for state boards to consider before taking action. The recommendations include:

  • Leverage the state board's reach to promote community partnerships to mitigate dropout.
  • Develop a comprehensive student data system that can help identify potential dropouts.
  • Deliver the needed training to schools and districts that can help them foster effective partnerships and dropout prevention plans.
  • Crate multiple pathways to graduation.

For an executive summary or buy the report, go to

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America's state and territorial boards of education. NASBE exists to strengthen State Boards as the preeminent educational policymaking bodies for citizens and students. For more, visit

SOURCE National Association of State Boards of Education