Breaking the Mold: Anaheim Progresses to the Next Level in Dropout Deterrence with Pearson’s Prevent


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Anaheim, CA and San Antonio, TX (PRWEB) November 10, 2009

more than 1 million students a year.

seven thousand students a day.

one child every 26 seconds.

Such grave statistics illustrate the dropout crisis that American educators grapple with today.

Recognizing the difference data can make in protecting students from this alarming trend, Anaheim Union High School implemented Prevent, an early warning dropout prevention software program from the education technology and services company Pearson, that aggregates the most relevant and predictive student information data to pinpoint which students are mostly likely to drop out of school.

During the 2008-2009 school year, Anaheim Union, a large, urban district in Southern California, sought an innovative approach to ensuring its graduation rates did not fall to drastically low levels. In response, Anaheim opted to pilot the data-driven Prevent for its entire 33,077 students, many of whom were already at-risk of dropping out of school.

Now, Anaheim is fully implementing Prevent as an integral piece of the district’s dropout prevention program that includes aggressive accountability measures, such as weekly check-ins with each of the district’s 22 schools.

Anaheim’s Assistant Superintendent Fredrick Navarro said that Prevent takes the guess work out of Anaheim’s dropout prevention efforts, “Student information is right there on my desktop, which gives me the opportunity to review a multi-faceted index and initiate a journey to understand exactly what’s wrong with a kid’s learning trajectory and why they’re suffering. The program provides us with an opportunity to collect our experience, our successes and our failures, know what works and what doesn’t work, even to the point where we can categorize interventions that work best for specific types of students.”

For more than a year, Anaheim’s educators have utilized Prevent’s browser-based, unique early warning system that emphasizes simple, “at-a-glance” reporting, helping all counselors and administrators more quickly identify at-risk students and take action.

Of Prevent’s impact, Navarro said, “Prevent helps schools address problems early; it helps us get to the root of the problem quickly, so we can roll up our sleeves and work with students and families right away. We know that we need to be intervening early and often with our students — with the right interventions — not just making students repeat grade levels, but really intervening and meeting their needs whether they be social, emotional or academic.”

Working with Anaheim, the Prevent team also provided training to help the on-the-ground educators better understand how data and trends can make a difference with students. “My counselors love that Prevent provides them with a quick, easy way to begin a conversation with a student. Sometimes, that first conversation is all we need to change the course of a student’s academic career,” Navarro said.

Successful interventions are growing in importance as nearly one in three ninth graders (26.8 percent) at U.S. public high schools are not graduating in four years, resulting in earnings of up to 80 percent less than their degree-earning peers.

Prevent founder and Director for Student Growth at Pearson, Gary Hensley has worked with Anaheim for three years and understands firsthand the difficult task Navarro and his team faced. “Prevent was born from my own experience as an administrator where I was faced with students’ problems every day and was always trying to get ahead of the curve. One day, I stepped back and analyzed how things could be different, realizing that my fellow educators and I already had all the data we needed. We had all the predictors — attendance, behavior, grades — readily available, but needed the data to be presented in an easily digestible way to pinpoint the students most at risk of failing out. Prevent is the solution to that predicament.”

Speaking to Anaheim’s commitment to dropout prevention, Hensely added, “As an early adopter of Prevent, Anaheim made a huge commitment to its students, promising to do the right thing to help those students be as successful as possible. The district’s focus on data as a solution says that this district is willing to address the dropout issue head on – making large-scale changes that break the mold, break the current way of thinking about how we stop this crisis.”

Moving forward, Navarro believes Prevent can help make a difference for all students. He said, “We know that every child is unique and requires a different path. Having the ability to not only intercede early, but to track the outcomes of the interventions is crucial in helping us to determine the path that we take with every child.”

For more information about Prevent, visit http://education.pearsonassessments.com/prevent or call 800.228.0752, option 5.

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today’s digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company’s investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company’s respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, and many others. Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson’s commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to http://www.pearson.com.

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