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Risk and Recovery from Course Failure in the Early Years of High School

Melissa Roderick and Eric Camburn
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 36, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 303-343
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1163541
Page Count: 41
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Risk and Recovery from Course Failure in the Early Years of High School
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Abstract

For many urban adolescents, the transition to and early years of high school are a time of academic difficulty and increasing school disengagement. In Chicago, over 40% of ninth graders fail one or more major subjects in the first semester. This article examines patterns in the relative risk of course failure and recovery from failure over the first four semesters of high school in one urban school system. It examines how failure rates vary as a function of race, ethnicity, gender, age, and prior achievement and examines between-school variation in student performance. Males and Hispanic students are particularly at risk. Few students recover from grade failure, and early failure often translates into poorer later performance. Schools vary widely in rates of failure and recovery-variation that remains after adjusting for differences in schools' student body composition. Implications for further research and policy are discussed.

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