Summary and face-to-face interviews with these “recovered” students revealed the following:
1. 68 percent responded that they would have remained in the traditional setting if the teachers were more responsive to their needs.
2. 66 percent responded that they wanted more “real-world” context from their teachers.
3. 32 percent said the major factor for their dropping out was prior expulsion or multiple suspensions.
4. Another 32 percent said a major factor for dropping out had been their own prior absenteeism. When probed on this issue, none identified a lack of self-motivation. Instead, they cited:
5. 25 percent cited “uninspiring classes” “classes lacking in substance.”
6. 25 percent said that classes were not interesting and they disliked school. (NOTE: 99% of these respondents flatly stated that education was and is important to their future.)
7. 14 percent cited family financial difficulty
8. 16 percent cited pregnancy
9. 8 percent the need to care for a family member
10. 4 percent responded that classroom and state testing was too difficult
11. 6 percent cited teachers wholly uninterested in them as persons, or in whether they understood concepts
12. 65 percent cited an absence of connections to real world relevance
13. 4 percent cited prior academic failure
We need to look at these numbers and come up with a solution that will address these issues. Acceleration Academies is making a difference and helping these students overcome the hurdles that are presented. Schools and society need to work together to make this work.