Story Behind the Curve
Strategies to improve these indicators
Why Is This Important?
School success is a major influencer and often has a direct impact on whether children develop into healthy, productive and upstanding pillars of the community. A well-developed study conducted in 1988 by Brooks-Gunn, Lee and Schnur concluded that preschool and formal education are gatekeepers, which determine a child’s ability to attend college, training and/or employment. Children who are successful in school are less likely to engage in juvenile crime and/or delinquent behaviors. More recent studies show a direct correlation between poor school performance, economic status, and juvenile crime, which lead to increased rates of delinquency, youth unemployment and overall lower economic growth. The study states that socioeconomic status is a significant part of the equation. It also indicates that children who come from impoverished communities are often faced with overwhelming challenges, resulting in poor school performance.
A study conducted in 2013 by Tim Elmore titled “The Five Greatest Predictors of Student Success” shows a different perspective and a more refined approach of focusing on student success. His research suggests that while socio-economic status is a factor, the highest predictors of student success can be summed up in the following five areas: 1. Getting connected to the right people (mentors and accountability); 2. Possessing adaptability and resilience (children should be taught how to overcome adversity and given appropriate consequences); 3. Developing high emotional intelligence (children now struggle with mental health issues more than in the past which leads to poor school performance and high dropout rates (having appropriate coping mechanisms in place is strongly linked to staying in school, avoiding risky behaviors, improving health, happiness and life success); 4. Targeting a clear outcome (students who have clear goals when they enter school tend to stay engaged, perform better and finish well); and 5. Making good decisions (students who make good choices in and out of class tend to be more successful. These are decisions that help establish their moral compass, form good study habits and influence how they spend leisure time).Bullying is a serious problem for all children involved. Kids who are bullied are more likely to feel bad about themselves and be depressed. They may fear or lose interest in going to school. Sometimes they take extreme measures, which can lead to tragic results. They may carry weapons, resort to violence, or try to harm themselves. Kids who bully others are more likely to drop out of school, have drug and alcohol problems, and violate laws.
 Brooks-Gunn, Lee and Schnur, 1988.
 Blair et al 2008
 Prince George's County Network of Care for Behavioral Health. http://princegeorges.md.networkofcare.org/mh/index.aspx