Policy and Practice
To address the dropout crisis, the PIC hired outreach specialists, former dropouts themselves, to reenroll young people in the BPS. This work, and its success, inspired the BPS to establish the Re-Engagement Center (REC) in a partnership with the PIC in 2009. The REC also collects data on students’ needs and academic profiles in order to inform the district and YTTF and influence future programming changes.
Since the PIC’s work with dropouts began in 2006, 2,814 students have re-enrolled or enrolled in a BPS alternative education program with the support of the REC, and 655 of them have earned a high school diploma. Between 2005 and 2019, the number of students dropping out of the BPS annually fell from 1,936 to 660, a 66% reduction.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dropout rate are still unknown, but we expect that some of the city’s remarkable progress will be erased, making the PIC’s re-engagement work more important than ever.