Found this Washington Post-article via Larry Ferlazzo, from whom I stole the title as it’s much better than the original title. The original Washtington Post title is a question: Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school? And the answer is: yes.
From the article:
The research is clear: If you want to know whether a child is on a path toward graduating or dropping out, standardized test scores are not very useful. Far more telling is whether that child comes to school regularly, behaves in class and earns passing grades.
Although do note:
“It’s not a silver-bullet answer,” said Susan Bowles Therriault of the American Institutes for Research, who has worked with many states to build early-warning systems. “It actually ends up being a lot more work in the long run.”
And some advocates worry that early-warning systems could be used inappropriately, such as if schools were to use the information to identify, and then push out, students who could reflect badly on test scores and graduation rates.
“There is huge danger of stereotyping as well, biasing teachers in a way that will be a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Leonie Haimson, an activist in New York and co-chair of the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy.