Historically, the majority of migrant education program services have been provided to students at the elementary grade level and in preschool. The secondary years, however, are also a particularly important period in which to provide carefully designed services to help students succeed academically. Some important statistics about secondary students from the 1998-1999 annual performance reports include the following:
- Approximately 196,941 migrant students, or 34% of all eligible migrant students served in the regular term, were in grades 7-12 or were identified as "out of school youth." Twenty-eight (28) percent of the students served in summer-term programs were classified as being in grades 7-12.
- Out-of-school youth accounted for 27,766 of the students served in the regular term, and 10,359 in the summer term.
- Although currently there is no reliable estimate of the graduation rate for migrant students, the working estimate is roughly 45-50%.
In 2001, the Office of Migrant Education launched a secondary student initiative in recognition of the need to increase the high school graduation rate of migrant students. The goal of the initiative is to assist large numbers of migrant secondary students who are at risk of dropping out to remain in and graduate from school.TOP
The primary objectives of the secondary student initiative are to:
- Focus attention on the needs of migrant secondary students
- Establish national baseline data on the high school graduation rate for secondary students
- Implement research-based, data-driven strategies to better leverage existing services
- Promote better inter- and intra-State coordination of MEP funded services
The major components of the initiative are to:
- Develop and disseminate baseline data on the graduation rate for migrant students
- Offer competitive design grants to State Departments of Education to assess and redesign their secondary programs and services for migrant students
- Implement these redesigned services through existing formula grant funds
- Evaluate the quality of the implementation of the design grants
- Provide sustained leadership and resources
The following are grant programs that might be useful to States that are seeking ways to improve their migrant secondary services.
U.S. Department of Education's School Dropout Prevention Program The purpose of this program is to support school dropout prevention and reentry activities to raise academic achievement levels by providing grants that 1) challenge all children to attain their highest academic potential, and 2) ensure that all students have substantial opportunities to attain their highest academic potential through schoolwide programs effective in school dropout prevention and reentry. Projects must implement scientifically-based, sustainable, and widely replicated strategies.
Washington State's Office of Secondary Education for Migrant Youth (SEMY)SEMY is a center located in Sunnyside, Washington whose mission is to give secondary-school aged migrant youth the opportunity to succeed. Although the center's primary purpose is to serve schools throughout the State of Washington, students and educators from all States are encouraged to visit their website.
Clemson University's National Dropout Prevention Center/Network The mission of the center is to serve as a research center to reshape school and community environments to meet the needs of youth in at-risk situations so these students receive quality education and services necessary to graduate from high school.TOP