For years, we have considered school dropout rates as a problem occurring at the high-school level. However, this is actually an issue that originates and develops in elementary school. In Do Children Drop Out of School in Kindergarten? Gregory Hickman and Randy Heinrich show how high school dropouts in many ways drop out of school long before they reach high school. Using a comprehensive systems approach, Hickman and Heinrich argue that our policy makers, educators, parents, and community members need to scrutinize our education system, moving past fixing short-term symptoms to engaging core, long-term problems for deep, effective change. For real change to take place, our national agenda needs to address the dropout problem at the elementary level, long before kids enter high school.
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Gregory P. Hickman, Ph.D., is professor of Human Services at Walden University and former director of the Arizona Dropout Initiative.
Randy S. Heinrich, D.M., served for over a decade as an educator in a rural Arizona school district and is currently on the faculty for Argosy University Online.
To learn more about Do Children Drop Out of School in Kindergarten?, the authors, and their work to reduce the crisis of school dropouts, please visit dropouts101.com.
This is the research. This is the book that needed to be written. The dropout spiral begins in kindergarten. We need to reach out and grab a hold of those kids early! Many children are at risk before they ever walk into first grade. Teachers and parents of children, who may or may not be gifted, who just do not fit into that round hole, really need to read this book! (Eleanor Peirce, kindergarten teacher, Desert Sun Academy)
I found the book to be extraordinarily powerful. In fact I found myself becoming quite emotional at points as I thought about children I've worked with over the last few years. I hope that it will be shared with and absorbed by those who are not yet 'like minded' as I believe it could be a very effective catalyst for change. Overall, a truly well written and thought provoking book that has had an impact on me personally. (Amy Levinton, special education teacher, Anthem K-8 - Florence Unified School District)
This is excellent and thorough research reporting...This is fascinating information and is efficacious. The book, as it stands, is an excellent tool. (Vanessa Girard, former teacher, counselor, and administrator)
I really enjoyed reading your work and I think it's a very timely topic! (Karalea Cox, higher education county administrator, Apache County, Arizona)
Hickman and Heinrich's analyses of past failures in public education and the inability to reduce high school dropout rates are spot-on. Much can be gained from this retrospective study regarding the early differences between students who drop out of high school and their peers who graduate from high school. The problems that lead to a student dropping out of school is more about arriving at high school ill prepared to do high school level work, than what is or is not happening in the high school itself. Hickman and Heinrich, in their excellent study, took the time to elucidate the problem of why kids drop out of school, examine the human ecology of children, and explain how standardized testing undermines education. This is a must-read for parents, teachers, business leaders, community leaders, and political leaders to place real meaning in educational reform. (Marilyn K. Simon Ph.D, Richard W. Riley College of Education, Walden University)
This is a MUST-READ ... for anyone who believes in tomorrow's future! (Christine Ybarra, principal, Franklin Fire & Police Academy)
There was a time, and not that long ago, when the kindergarten classroom was a place for children to play and sing, hop and skip, dance and sing―a world of magic and imagination―mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. Reading and math was second to fun and play. Today, life is different for five-year-olds. Letters, phonemes, blending, counting, and multiple assessments throughout the year to measure their progress toward meeting the standards. Yes, the pressure has siphoned down to kindergarten, and this is a recipe for stress, anxiety and drop out. (Bert Honigman, principal, Desert Sun Academy)
After having worked in alternative education for 20 years, a book has finally been written that is relevant. Shocking, but interesting! The research has been done and brought together with viable options for solutions to this dropout dilemma. This book is pertinent reading for parents, educators, and administrators. (Justin DeMello, principal, Oasis Sierra Academy)
We are so grateful for the time and effort Randy and Greg put into this book. Their research really put our challenges in keeping students in school in perspective. We see ourselves a little clearer. Their work has helped us become better at addressing the walls and obstacles we as school systems put in front of students. Great job! (Travis Udall, superintendent, Round Valley Schools)
Finally a book that takes on the real reasons that students drop out of school...[and] has the potential to reshape our thinking about the 'when' and 'why' students disconnect from school... This book provides examples of problems and solutions that parents, educators, and administrators can easily implement. I found this remarkable book very interesting, but not shocking. As an educator for more than 20 years, I've seen many of these problems start in kindergarten and spiral out of control. I am excited to see a book that challenges all of us to make some changes toward reform. A must-read for everyone, but especially for the political leaders who sincerely want real reform in our schools. (Kathy Stopka, third grade/special education teacher, Franklin Park School District)
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