The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission Report
|To:||Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education|
|From:||Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner|
|Date:||October 16, 2009|
At the April 2009 Board meeting you received an update on a number of ongoing state initiatives to help increase the number of students who graduate from high school. Included in the update was a briefing on the Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission and its charge. The Commission was chaired by Secretary of Education Paul Reville and co-chaired by Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Suzanne Bump and me.
The Commission's final report will be released on October 26th. At our regular meeting on October 27th, we will distribute copies for discussion, and Secretary Reville and I will review with you some of the key recommendations in the report.
Background on the Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission
In August 2008, Chapter 315 of the Acts of 2008, an Act to Improve Dropout Prevention and Reporting of Graduation Rates, was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick. The Act established a Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission to make recommendations on ten topic areas including: setting a goal and timeline for reducing the statewide dropout rate, further developing an early warning system for students at risk of dropping out, creating a dropout prevention recovery grant program, and considering whether to raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.
The Commission membership included state legislators and/or their designees, representatives from public school districts, higher education, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, a variety of youth-serving state agencies, and community-based organizations. The Commission's report will be submitted to the House and Senate Chairs of Education and the Chairs of the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means. In addition, the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy will host a public event on October 26th at the Omni Parker House to accompany the release of the Graduation and Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission report.
I look forward to receiving your comments on the report's recommendations and other suggestions you may have to increase the number of our youth who graduate from high school with the skills they need to be successful in postsecondary education and a career.