Leadership & Policy Forum on Truancy and Dropout Prevention


“Every 29 seconds, another student gives up on school, resulting in more than one million American dropouts a year – or 6,000 every day.”   — Do Something.Org

Today, American public schools are rife with high absenteeism and low graduation rates. Essentially, many students do not feel compelled to come to school for a variety of factors. This lack of enthusiasm, low participation in school, and disinterest in campus activities are risk factors that reveal whether a student is likely to graduate from high school.

In order to combat this problem plaguing our nation’s schools the American Bar Association Commission on Youth at Risk led an invitation-only leadership and policy forum. The forum centered on truancy and dropout prevention. The event was held on September 20, 2010 at the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. It was also co-sponsored by the ABA Criminal Justice Section, Juvenile Justice, the ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, the Institute for Educational Leadership, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the National Center for School Engagement.

At the meeting awareness and discussion centered on the importance of policy and best practices that prevent truancy and dropping out during the middle and high school years. Policy recommendations were made for leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to improve the quality of relationships between schools, families, and youth courts. Additionally, federal partners and collaborators were present to lead the panel and also served as small group discussion leaders.

The agenda and additional information regarding the meeting can be found here.