If you don’t have a high school diploma, chances are that your job prospects suffered greatly during the last few years. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, total employment for workers without a high school diploma fell by a staggering 14% from 2008 to 2013. Moreover, the jobs that were available didn’t pay very well – workers without a high school diploma took home an average of only $471 a week.
Facts like these make us at NCLD wince because we know that students with learning disabilities (LD) sometimes struggle to graduate from high school. How bad is the situation? That’s what we wanted to find out when we commissioned a groundbreaking new report called Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the High School Graduation Rate for Students with Learning Disabilities.
What we found was troubling. For instance, in 2011, among students with specific learning disabilities (SLD), just 68 percent left high school with a regular high school diploma. In three states – Louisiana, Nevada, and South Carolina – more students with SLD drop out than receive a regular diploma.
NCLD will share the full report with the public on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. We are also inviting the public to a free live webinar on Diplomas at Risk on Thursday, May 16, 2013, from 12pm to 1pm (EST). NCLD Public Policy Director Laura Kaloi will moderate the webinar, which features three noted experts: Candace Cortiella, author of the Report; Bob Balfanz, PhD, Johns Hopkins University; and Colleen Riley, Kansas State Department of Education.
The experts will not only discuss the findings in Diplomas at Risk, they will talk about what each of us can do to improve the graduation rate of students with LD. For parents, they will offers tips and advice on how to keep kids from getting off track for a regular diploma. Educators and policymakers will learn about simple changes to the law that can raise the graduation rate.
NCLD’s May 16 Diplomas at Risk webinar promises to be an insightful and provocative look at how our educational system addresses the diploma aspirations of high school students with LD. Don’t miss it.