In Middle School, Can Data Prevent Dropouts?

BY News Desk  July 17, 2012 at 2:58 PM EDT

Seven thousand students dropout of school every day in the U.S.

And some researchers have dubbed middle school as the essential “make-or-break” years in determining a child’s success.

Tuesday’s “Frontline,” tells the story of how one school in New York City’s Bronx neighborhood is using new data in an effort to “predict and prevent dropouts before they happen.” The effort aims to flag early warning signs in students long before they ever step foot in high school.

Watch Middle School Moment:

Watch Middle School Moment on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Similar data collections are under way across the nation. In Nashville, Tenn., a Race to the Top program called the “Data Warehouse Dashboard,” provides school officials, principals and some teachers with alerts whenever a student exhibits behavior patterns such as suspensions, poor attendance and academic failure, that could lead to dropping out. The system also informs teachers and school officials how best to help and intervene in a student’s life.

Watch education reporter LaTonya Turner report on the Data Warehouse Dashboard for Nashville Public Television:

Find additional reports on the dropout crisis here. American Graduate is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to address the dropout crisis.