Beliefs and Skills: Dropout Grants Edstar evaluated the dropout prevention grants for the state of North Carolina. We were hired one year into the grant cycles. Most of the grants that were awarded were given to agencies that had designed programs through the equity lens of believing that at-risk students need innovative services to raise their quality of life or to motivate them, and then maybe this would lead to on-time graduation. The Dropout Committee explained to us that they wanted to know the effectiveness of these programs raising the on-time graduation rates, and reducing the dropout rates. We discovered in the first year that most of the grantees did not have measurable objectives related to graduating, and many were not keeping records of who they served or what the services were. We were able to report some information about how many students were served and describe the services, and little more. For the second round of grants, applicants were required to have objectives that related to fulfilling graduation requirements. They were to target students for service based on data. The services needed to be related to helping students fulfill graduation requirements. We set up consistent record keeping across all the programs. Not all grantees were able to make this switch For example, one program planned to serve students who had not passed algebra. They served Black males. They didn't get academic data until the end of the program, and then discovered some of the students were successfully in a calculus class when they were serving them. They had rewarded the students with iPads and other things for completing remedial math modules, so the boys had not let on because they wanted these rewards. Many programs required extensive technical assistance to write measurable objectives because they didn't know what data would be relevant. For example, one program serving middle school students wrote an objective about the students successfully completing Advanced Placement (AP) courses before the end of 7th grade. They didn't know there were no AP courses for middle school students.Which beliefs are influencing his Equity Lens? Click to check your answer. B.1 Cause and Effect B.2 Expert vs. Evidence B.3 What At-Risk Means B.4 Desired Outcomes and Goals B.5 What is STEM and Why We Need to Fill STEM Pipeline Which skills are influencing his Equity Lens? Click to check your answer. S.1 Knowing What Can Be Known S.2 How to Identify Kids to Align Services S.3 How to Classify Things S.4 Working With Data S.5 Understanding Data Details S.6 Understanding Federal Data-Handling Laws BeliefsB.1 Cause and Effect Overall, some programs continued to operate under the Equity Lens that supported providing innovative activities for at-risk students might raise their quality of life experiences and cause them to graduate on time. Other programs operated under the Equity Lens that supported providing algebra tutoring for students who had trouble passing algebra, and more straight forwardly related cause and effect. B.2 Expert vs. Evidence NA B3. What At-Risk Means There were two Equity Lens supporting different programs. Some programs operated under the lens that low-income and minority students are at-risk of dropping out. Other programs operated under the lens that students who are not on track to meet the graduation requirements are at-risk of dropping out or not graduating on time. B.4 Desired Outcomes and Goals We were able to change the desired goals over the course of these grants, so that programs would be willing to help the students who had already dropped out or could not possibly graduate on time. B.5 What is STEM and Why We Need to Fill STEM Pipeline NA SkillsS.1 Knowing What Can Be Known NA S.2 How to Identify Kids to Align Services Some programs identified students for services by demographic characteristics. Other programs used academic and behavior data, eventually. S.3 How to Classify Things NA S.4 Skill Set Required for Working With Data Both non-profits and school staff had difficulty working with data because they weren't used to it. One school administrator set an objective that 3% of 45 students who had failed algebra would successfully pass it. We tried to explain to her that 3% would be one student. She said she learned 3% is a usually a good goal. People did not know what data would be relevant. Many did not know what the graduation requirements were. S.5 Understanding Data Details Especially the non-profits running programs did not understand how to interpret K-12 academic data. Some of the school staffs did not know things like that scale score ranges differ by grade and subject. There is a lot to understand about education data. S.6 Understanding Federal DATA-Handling Laws Many of the non-profit staff knew what FERPA was.