Dropout recovery: Tough job, but someone’s got to do it

As a writer and editor, I have a rule: Avoid the use of catch-phrases,
clichés and jargon in articles whenever possible. Readers are better
served by vivid illustration—with anecdotes, data, telling details or
colorful quotes—than by overused or vague expressions. Still, there’s no better substitute for the phrase “school to prison pipeline” to describe some of the data in this issue of Catalyst In Depth.

Second chance for dropouts

The average student who enrolls in an alternative school faces steep odds to graduating. Low skills, tough lives and scarce resources at schools are big barriers. New York has a strategy for dropout recovery, but CPS has yet to develop one.

Missing: Black and Latino boys

Neighborhood high schools in Chicago fail to graduate half of their black and brown young men. And once out the door, this downward spiral continues: Black and Latino males are less likely to turn to alternative schools than their female counterparts, and those who do are less likely to graduate.