The research is very clear that if a kid fails a class as a high school freshman it's an early warning sign of dropping out. The other early warning sign are bad attendance.
The under appreciated problem is that these early signs get lost in the noise of managing a school. As for many organizational problems, the issue is getting the signal on someone's radar fast enough and to be able to deliver the least expensive, most effective intervention when it's needed.
From me at twitter:
The real power of social media is that for the first time, conversation is "doing" and thus can be measured.But for all the blah blah, social media does not yet have the reach of print. The people who "talk" loudest about social media are a self-selected group of early adopters. All interesting and useful, but blind to what it means to scale a good innovation in the real world to solve massive public problems.
The "educators" are blind to the fact that low income parents are deeply motivated by their children's success. But instead of focusing on keeping in touch with mom or guardian, they are trapped in a bubble that finds more and more fault with the culture of low income people.
Once 2d codes and Purls are in print they will create the clickstreams that can give real time information on the early predictors of dropping out of high school. If they are coupled with real time communication with parents, perhaps through SMS, and most definitely in personalized print, the power of mom, can be harnessed to slow down and eventually stop the dropout epidemic.
Me at twitter:
Measure doing, not learning in school. Print + QR yields clickstreams that can be shared with mom when jr gets lazy.