Graduation Speech : High School Graduation

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High School Graduation With regards to high school graduation, Balfanz, Herzog, and Iver (2007) followed 12,972 Philadelphia students enrolled in traditional middle schools from six grade (1996-1997) until 1 year beyond their expected graduation from high school (2003-2004) in order to understand what indicators would affect their projected graduation date. Unlike many of the early K-8 schools, the population Balfanz et al followed consisted of "64% African American, 19% White, 12% Hispanic, and 5% Asian students. Additionally, 97% of the sample attended schools that were majority minority" (2007, p. 227). Balfanz et al found that the four variables, or "flags," that had the highest predictive power and yield were: sixth grade attendance, failing math in sixth grade, failing English in sixth grade, and receiving an out-of-school suspension in sixth grade (2007). Second, the more flags that students had the lower their chances of graduating on time became. More specifically, one-flag, two-flag, three-flag and four-flag students had a 36%, 21%, 13%, and 7% chance of on time graduation, respectively (Balfanz et al, 2007). In debriefing of this study produced in 2010, Balfanz summarized the importance of his earlier findings: "during the middle grades, students in high-poverty environments are either launched on the path to high school graduation or knocked off-track" (Balfanz, 2010, p. 7). Psychological Well-Being Another explanation for why students often get knocked

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