Fresno Unified School Board addressed a plan to bring down high drop-out rates. Its goal is to set up an early warning system to identify children in need.
Parents who addressed the Board referred to the area as a "drop out factory"; Fresno’s dropout rate sits at 46%.
In the board meeting, Javier Guzman introduced his plan to keep kids from dropping out. It was not tailored to Fresno Unified—instead his plan is geared to the county and state levels. It plans to put together a committee comprised of 15-21 parents and professionals; the parents would make up 51% and the professional 49%. It would be broken down into executive and sub-committees. The groups would focus on numerous factors including counseling for at risk students, get parents involved and keep better track of truancy.
Educators say numerous problems lead to the dropout rates including language barriers, poor nutrition and gang affiliation. They add suspension and expulsion are a big problem saying it takes kids out of school and when they get back, they fall behind. All of these problems Mr. Guzman says could be improved with his committee.
Guzman’s committee is not the only group working on the dropout rates. The “Graduation Task Force—put together by Superintendent Michael Hanson—was also discussed—some very unhappy about it.
Parents and Board members saying, it's a force with no parent or student influence. They would like to see it tweaked.
Parents who left the meeting Wednesday night were still concerned over the dropout rates but said they will “remain optimistic”.
Christina Lusby Reporting.