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A Policy Analysis of

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Emilie Stewart

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of A Policy Analysis of

A Policy Analysis of the Effect of Raising the Minimum Dropout Age to 18 on Graduation
Rates and Future Unemployment and Incarceration Rates

Legislative History
PROBLEM DEFINITION
RESEARCH DESIGN
Federal Legislation Passed
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965)
No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
Race to the Top (2010)
Would raising the minimum dropout age from 16 to 18 be the most effective and efficient way to increase graduation rates and reduce unemployment and incarceration rates in the state of New Avery?
Analyst's Problem
To determine the effectiveness of raising the dropout age to 18 in increasing graduation rates and reducing unemployment and incarceration rates.
To evaluate the efficacy of past legislation in other states
To weigh the costs and benefits.
To explore any alternative policies.
To identify any implementation problems, externalities, and offsetting behaviors.
To provide a well-evaluated recommendation.
Political Environment
Objectives and Methods
1. Would raising the minimum dropout age to 18
effectively
increase graduation rates?




2. What is the most effective way to mandate raising the minimum dropout age to 18?
Objectives and Methods
3. Does raising the minimum dropout age to 18 effectively reduce unemployment rates?





4. Would raising the minimum dropout age to 18 effectively reduce incarceration rates?


Policy Problem
REPORTING OF RESULTS
Objective 1: Graduation Rates
1 in every 4 potential dropouts remain in school (Angrist & Kreuger)
Students who complete their freshman year become increasingly likely to graduate (Glennie & Stearns)
Objective 3: Unemployment Rates
Movement toward raising the minimum dropout age is spurred by economic demand for a higher level of education
Quantity of schooling is highly correlated with individual earning and economic growth rates
Wages will be used as measurement

Objective 2: Efficacy of
Past Legislation
Numerous students drop out illegally because policies are not well-enforced
Number of truant officers is too low to discipline, lack of care
Better Teacher Training
Extended School Day
Key Characteristics:

Long-term programs
More instruction time
Could be used for longer classroom time
Or Mentoring programs
Shown that increase in school hours increases students chance to graduate (Tyler & Lofstrom, 2009)
Positive Implications for School & Community:
Makes teachers' jobs easier
More comfortable and enjoyable learning environment
Decrease juvenile's inclination to participate in crime
Potential Problems:
Expenses and disapproval of program
Detract from other commitments (i.e. jobs and after-school activities)
ALTERNATIVE POLICIES
COSTS AND BENEFITS ANALYSIS
Objective 5: Alternative Policies
Compulsory Age Policy
EXTERNALITIES, OFFSETTING BEHAVIORS
& IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMS

Compulsory Age Policy
CONCLUSIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Conclusions
Better Teacher Training
Cost and Benefits
Using New Jersey as template
Direct Costs
Accommodating 60 new students per school
Cost of extra 60 students is
$10,000
for each =
$60,000
Program costs
$371,000
to implement,
$350
per student
Hiring new staff at each school is
$114,000
Total cost per school, per year is
$1,085,000

Direct Benefits
Average annual earnings increase from high school
$4,250.61
10%
salary increase for each extra year of education

Extended School Hours
Cost and Benefits
Direct Costs
Accommodating average of 190 more students
$10,000
per new student =
$1,900,000
Implementation of the program is $8,000

per teacher, in an average of 50 per school, cost =
$400,000
Hiring new staff
$130,000
Average Total Costs per year =
$2,430,000

Direct Benefits
10%
average raise in salary for extra year in school
Average income increase from graduating high school is
$4,250.61
Better Teacher Training
Extended School Hours
Externalities
Offsetting Behaviors
Implementation Problems
Externalities
Offsetting Behaviors
Implementation Problems
Externalities
Offsetting Behaviors
Implementation Problems
This policy analysis team recommends that the increased minimum dropout age policy
be enacted
in New Avery because it has the resources to implement the policy effectively
However
, it should be
accompanied
with the development of other programs
Such as:
better teacher training
and
increased school hours
The implementation of all
three
policies together would be the
most effective
in increasing graduation rates and reducing unemployment rates and incarceration rates in New Avery
Recommendations
Research demonstrates that the implementation of an increased minimum dropout age policy in New Avery could result in:
Increase in graduation rates
Decrease in unemployment
Decrease in incarceration rates
However, effectiveness of this policy varies from state to state in the U.S.
New Jersey,
though, has adequate resources to support the implementation of this policy
Nevertheless,
implementation of this policy on its own would not be the most effective approach

Compulsory Age Policy
Increased school hours show
positive results
in terms of reducing total dropout out rates
Shown to improve education levels by 2% for each 10% increase in school time
Poses potential challenges, but
benefits outweigh the costs
High costs, but
New Jersey
can handle them
Alternative Policies
Expanders
Contractors
National Governors Association
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Education Association
National Association of School Psychologists
National Conference of State Legislatures
National Dropout Prevention Center
Communities in Schools
The Future of Children
National Center on Secondary Education and Transitions
Home School Legal Defense Association
ANALYSIS
Works by providing teachers with instructions on best way to interact with students as well as notice signs of at-risk students
Teachers are then monitored for a short period of time, 3-6 months
Studies show that policy:
Increases Academic achievement
Lowers school crime and disciplinary problems
Alternative:
Hiring new teachers and creating a method using ideas from successful teachers
Designed to make students voluntarily want to remain in school
Prevent the student downward spiral: falling so far behind (due to absence or disinterest) that they become discouraged
Potential Problems:
Expensive
Effectiveness
not guaranteed
Direct Costs and Benefits
Social & Indirect Costs
and Benefits
Direct Costs:
Accommodating for 21,044 students that would have otherwise dropped out
Projected Direct Costs from:
Hiring more teachers/providing additional resources =
$200,015,000
Building more classrooms or increasing class sizes =
$ 45,660,000
Increasing number of truancy officers =
$42,088,000
Total Direct Cost (1st Year) =
$287,763, 000
Every Year After =
$242,103,000
Discounted over 10 years =
$2,853,415,585

Direct Benefits:
Derived from added opportunities for students that do not dropout
Each additional year in school =
10% increase
in annual income
Lifetime earnings increase =
$226, 700
Average salary of dropout =
$20,241
Increase in annual salary =
$4,250.61





Students who are a threat, nuisance or disruption to their peers stay in the classroom longer
Detrimental to the learning of other students
Creates an unsafe educational environment
Younger students feel threatened, start skipping school
Higher student-teacher ratio and increased disruptions may discourage teachers
Effect on potential dropouts' families who are dependent on contribution to family income

Safer neighborhood environment
Lower government expenditure for police forces on juvenile offenders
Safer community
Increased property values in New Avery
Negative Externalities:

Positive Externalities:

Disengaged students could continue to cut class, ultimately get expelled for absences
Bring violence or criminality into school --> incarceration or expulsion
Difficult to enforce compulsory attendance laws
Difficult to prevent students from skipping school and ultimately getting expelled
Schools may lack resources to accommodate 'extra' students
Negative Externalities
Take away from teachers classroom time and resources for their own students
Reduce amount of time teachers have to prepare other lessons and programs for their own classrooms
Positive Externalities
As students gain more education and have higher incomes, there is:
Positive impact on communities within New Avery
Increase in overall economy
More involved in school --> more involved in community
Communities in New Avery will benefit more from such involvement
Teachers may not pay attention to training or ignore the provided resources because they:
Believe their method is better
Are not motivated to change: just don't want to do it!
Time consuming process
Some skills cannot be taught
Difficult to change the way some teachers teach
How do you make bad teachers into good ones?
Limited teacher spots
Negative Externalities
Positive Externalities
Local employers and families suffer as students do not have time to work
Less lower level job positions filled
Less family income
Can disrupt family schedules
Can allow teachers more time to cover material
Can allow for other programs to occur
Mentoring programs
Graduating from high school results in higher annual income
Impact on community and economy
Students may not attend
Students can just cut the extra time or whole day
Resulting in more problems
Can result in legal problems or school problems, such as expulsion
Can be difficult to get extra funding
More work for teachers and staff
Opposition from students
Must accommodate the extra students
Significant impact on the desired results
Such programs have been proven to
increase graduation rates
from 60% to 68%
Students are prevented from falling behind
Most commonly associated with the negative attitudes that lead to dropping out of high school
Although implementation may be challenging, the
benefits of this policy outweigh the costs
Better Teacher Training
Extended School Hours
Objectives and Methods
5. What are the expected costs and benefits of raising the minimum dropout age to 18?








Objective 1: Graduation Rates
Objective 3: Unemployment Rates
Objective 4: Incarceration Rates
Not a universal trend between raising the dropout age and graduation rates
Results vary drastically by state
Does not meet evaluative criteria of 10%
The Rennie Center on Education Policy
2004-2005 school year
Out of 10 states with the highest graduation rates, only 3 required their students to remain in school until 18 (Nebraska, Wisconsin, Utah)
Out of 14 states with the lowest dropout rates only 5 mandated that kids stay in school until 18
Landis & Reschly
Looked at the effect of raising dropout age to 18 over a five year span in different states
Connecticut and Illinois experienced a decrease to their dropout rates
South Carolina and Nebraska experienced no change to their dropout rates
Louisiana and Indiana experienced increases to their dropout rates

Landis & Reschly
Minnesota
lowered
their dropout age from 18 to 16
Dropout rate REMAINED CONSTANT
Mississippi
lowered
their dropout age from 17 to 16
Dropout rate DECREASED
Data from United States, Canada, United Kingdom
Students who participate in an extra year of schooling raised subsequent annual earning by 10-14%
Total Income Increased by $226,700
Burrus & Roberts
Dropouts earned ~$9,200 less per year
Over the course of their lifetime, dropouts will earn an average of $375,000 less than high school graduates and $1 million less than college graduates
Dropouts are 3 times more likely to be unemployed than college graduates
Oreopoulos
Education encourages students to develop skills necessary to become contributing, successful members of society
More time in school is associated with
higher earnings
and
less time unemployed
Better-educated workers have a comparative advantage with respect to the adjustment to and implementation of new technology
Riddell & Song
Jarjoura
High school dropouts have an increased participation in crime
Push Out vs. Pull Out Dropouts
American Community Surveys (2006-2007)
1 in 1,000 bachelor degree holders were institutionalized versus:
0.7% of adults who completed 1 to 3 years of post-secondary schooling
1.0% of high school graduates
6.3% of high school dropouts
American Community Surveys
Incidence of institutionalization among dropouts was more than
63 times higher
than among four year college graduates
1 out of every 10 young male high school dropouts was institutionalized on a given day versus less than 1 in 33 high school graduates
Objective 2: Efficacy of Past Legislation
Despite the policy's failure in some states,
implementation can be improved
to lead to an effective outcome by...
Looking at states where graduation rates increased
More time in school
is
associated with higher earnings and less time spent unemployed
Better educated people are overall more productive, raise economic levels
Evaluative criteria of 5% met
Objective 3: Unemployment Rates
However,
correlation does not prove causation
Not enough research has been conducted that proves that increasing the dropout age to 18 causes a reduction in unemployment
Objective 4: Incarceration Rates
There is a strong correlation between raising the minimum dropout age and decreasing incarceration rates
Evaluative criteria of 5% met
Objective 2: Efficacy of Past Legislation
Resuts show that an
effective policy
would serve to motivate students to attend school, not make school more of a burden
Individuals were unemployed for a shorter amount of time if the CSAA was 18 instead of 16
High School and Beyond Data Set
Objective 4: Incarceration Rates
Costs
Schools lose ability to dictate own dropout age
Families lose income as students cannot dropout to support families
Wasting teacher time and effort on students that do not want to learn
Benefits
Society benefits from more educated individuals
Higher income taxes collected and higher spending for economy
Less government expenditure on dropouts
Less spending on jail and legal fees
Cost & Benefit Chart
Cost initially outweighs the benefits
However, benefits grow faster than the costs
Benefits outweigh the cost after 11 years
Costs 2.707 billion < Benefits

2.747 Billion
Social/Indirect Costs
Less support for families in need
Parents may have to pay for transportation
Social/Indirect Benefits
Less legal fees and government help
More money for the economy and businesses
For every 10% increase in school time, a 2% increase in academic achievement

Benefits outweigh costs after 1 year:
$2.430 million costs < $2.443 million benefits
State Legislation
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
By State
High School Dropouts
22% of students drop out before graduating
Over 1,500 public schools had dropout rates over 60% in 2010
By Race
Washington DC has the highest dropout rate at 41%
Vermont has one of the lowest at 17%
Personal Costs of Dropping out
Dropouts make on average $260,000 less than high school graduates
Adolescent dropouts are less likely to enter the workforce
If they do enter, they are more likely to get stuck in low-end jobs
Exhibit decreased mental and physical health
Dropouts Cost to Society
More likely to rely on government-funded programs
40% of dropouts received government assistance in 2001
Increased probability of participation in criminal activity
Dropouts who turns to crime cost the nation $1.7 to $2.3 million
Push Out Factors
Pull Out Factors
Believe that the opportunity cost of staying in school is too high, would be better off if they dropped out and sought employment
Often correlated with family responsibilities
Tend to be older
Internal factors occurring within school
E.g., discouragement from faculty, disengagement in material, failing grades, disciplinary problems
Tend to be younger
President Obama brought dropout issue to the forefront of political discussion in 2012 State of the Union Address
Societal benefits of a decreased dropout rate are immense
U.S. need a policy that accomplishes this goal
Call to Action
53% of dropouts are Black or Hispanic
Only 17% are White
By Gender
By Nativity
Objectives and Methods
7. What are the externalities, offsetting behaviors, and implementation problems associated with raising the minimum dropout age and alternative policies?
Source:
Stay in School: New Lessons on the Benefits of Raising the Legal School-Leaving Age,
Philip Oreopoulos, http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/commentary_223.pdf
Regulations Vary by State
Boost Attendance's 5
Reasons for Dropping Out
1. Lack of interest in material
2. Low expectations at home
3. Poor attendance
4. Failing grades or behavioral
issues
5. Family responsibility

Examine the effect of a minimum dropout age of 18 on graduation rates at both the national and state levels
Evaluative criteria: 10% increase in graduation rates
Examine different methods states use to regulate minimum dropout age
Determine both the direct and indirect costs and benefits that come from implementing this policy
Determine if benefits outweigh costs
Examine the effect of a minimum dropout age of 18 on unemployment rates at both the national and state level
Wages will be used as the measurement
Evaluative Criteria: 5% increase in wages earned
Examine the effect of a minimum dropout age of 18 on incarceration rates at both the national and state level
Evaluative Criteria: 5% decrease in incarceration rates
Determine what problems arise in implementation
Determine the positive and negative externalties associated with our policies
Determine any offsetting behavior associated with our policies
Objectives and Methods
6. What alternative policies exist that would increase graduation rates and reduce levels of unemployment and imprisonment?
Find alternative policies that would accomplish these goals
Perform Cost-Benefit Analysis for the alternative policies
Discrepancies Between States
Poverty Level
Poorer states have more trouble implementing this policy
Demographics
Smaller states have more trouble implementing this policy
Quality of Schools
High performing schools are more open to change and would respond to this policy more positively
New Jersey
has a low poverty rate, large population AND high performing schools
Expanders
Contractors
Lack of evidence that proves increasing the minimum dropout age to 18 is effective
Minimal impact based on poor enforcement
Resources allocated for enforcement could be better utilized to address the issues that cause dropping out
Increases graduation rates
Enables students to earn higher wages
Promotes social mobility
Decreases incarceration rates
Better Teacher Training
Social costs and Benefits
Social/Indirect Costs
Less support for families in need
Social/Indirect Benefits
Less legal fees and government help
More money for the economy and businesses

Benefits outweigh costs after 3 years
Total Cost $2.061 million < Total Benefit $2.106 million
Extended School Hours
Social Costs and Benefits
New Jersey
Standardized definition of unexcused absence
Mandated services for students with between 1 and 9 unexcused absences
Mandated court referral for students with 10 or more unexcused absences
Pennsylvania
Sends warning letter and resources to help keep students on track in school
Tries to work with the students as opposed to punishing them
However, correlation does not prove causation
Numerous factors:
sex, behavior, demographics
Full transcript