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January 08, 2009

'Citizen Schools' Seek to Boost After School Learning

This program, Citizen Schools, combines a lot of factors we talk about here on Motivation Matters to help boost education in communities across the country. In an effort to decrease the number of dropouts in America, the after-school program hooks up volunteer experts—college students, young profe...

January 06, 2009

Feedback Please!

Happy new year, everyone! We here at Motivation Matters wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks for all the thoughtful comments and suggestions we've received on this blog over the past year. As always, we want to make this blog a helpful and relevant resource for you, so if you have any topic...

September 25, 2008

N.H. Pushes Personalized Learning, Real-World Lessons

Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk has written an interesting story about a massive reform effort going on in New Hampshire designed to personalize students' learning--allowing them more access to alternative education, distance-learning opportunities, and learning opportunities outside of school, lik...

July 24, 2008

Motivational House Calls

This story from The Sacramento Bee is a great follow-up to yesterday's post about the relationship between motivation, mentorship, and parental involvement. In the program described in the article, school counselors visit struggling students' homes to sit down with them and their parents and talk ...

January 25, 2008

Personal Motivators for At-Risk Ohio Freshmen

This story in The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer highlights a statewide effort in 35 Ohio school districts to help a few hundred freshman boys graduate. The program targets boys who have at least one of four factors that deem students "at-risk" for dropping out--being overage, having failed two major cour...

January 03, 2008

Boosting Motivation with Smaller Classes

I read a story yesterday in The (Raleigh, N.C.) News and Observer about a new middle school program that selects a handful of overage eighth-grade students and puts them into accelerated classes aimed to get them back on track with their high school peers. Since the program targets students who are ...

November 29, 2007

Shutting Down Dropout Factories

This op-ed in the Nov. 23 edition of the Christian Science Monitor offers pretty powerful advice on how to shut down "dropout factories" and increase high school graduation rates. Here's an excerpt: "The overwhelming number of dropouts surveyed in the report, "The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of H...

October 19, 2007

Let's Give Bill Some Help

Motivation Matters reader Bill Betzen of Dallas has requested some feedback about a middle school initiative to improve student motivation and academic achievement. The initiative is called The Middle School Archive Project: Student Motivation and Dropout Prevention and it aims to get kids to think...

May 18, 2007

"Maybe I would have stayed in school"

A Motivation Matters reader alerted me to a thoughtful interview that KMOX Radio in St. Louis recently did with Claire Wyneken of the Wyman Center, which is working to help reduce the dropout rate in the St. Louis area through outreach and a focus on helping teenagers develop better long-term relati...

May 10, 2007

Mapping Grad Rates

If you like to dig into data about high school graduation rates, check out a new mapping tool on that allows you to examine graduation rates for every district in the United States. You can see how well your district stacks up against neighboring districts, your state and other states, a...

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