Outcome Team 3 has been determining which areas we can truly “move the needle on” to ensure every youth is engaged in education, training, or an employment pathway upon high school graduation. A few of the topics we’ve begun to explore include the FAFSA process, the culture of poverty, and the barriers for English Language Learners (ELL). Did you know 53% of Brown County students complete the FAFSA? Because of this statistic, we are looking at the FAFSA process from start to finish and feel there is room for enhancements.
Another topic our team is exploring includes the tentacles of “the culture of poverty.” Eric Chyn, an economist completing his dissertation at the University of Michigan notes that if a child can move out of a bad neighborhood, s/he has a good chance of earning more than those who stay in the bad environment. “Children forced out of public housing went on to have annual earnings that were 16 percent higher than those who remained, and they were 9 percent more likely to be employed.” Moreover, “the effects may be even larger for those who moved while they were young.” (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/upshot/growing-up-in-a-bad-neighborhood-does-more-harm-than-we-thought.html?mwrsm=Email&_r=0)
Mr. Chyn’s research topic is a continuation and enhancement to the longitudinal data from the research project “Moving to Opportunity.” (Source: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/programdescription/mto)
There are many avenues to poverty, and we look forward to sharing more as we learn more.
A third topic we’d like to share relates to English Language Learners (ELL). WISEdash, the Wisconsin DPI’s public data sharing portal, has provided valuable information to create graphs depicting the effects on graduation rates for schools that have high populations of students that need to learn English as a Second Language. Looking at ELL rates, while there is a strong negative correlation between income levels and the percentage of English language learners in a community, the relationship between graduation rates and ELL is not as strong. The community with the highest percentage of ELL students does not have the lowest graduation rate.
The final topic to share looks at graduation rates as they relate to economically disadvantaged students and the poverty rate of the community. When we take a closer look at the most recent data on graduation rates for economically disadvantaged students by school, we see that economically disadvantaged students in a community that has a lower rate of poverty overall will have a much greater chance of graduating than a similar student in a community with a higher overall poverty rate. This may speak to prevailing peer group and cultural norms, or to the importance of having ample available community resources and support systems. Further research is needed to determine the local reasons for these observed differences.
– submitted by Allyson Baue