am starting this column with a chart, something journalists are never supposed to do. I found it on page 179 of a new book with one of those titles, “The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education,” that scholars consider necessary but discourages readers. I beg you to stay with me, because this particular chart is surprising and important (I have changed the formatslightly to make it easier to absorb).
Table 9-1. Interventions that Demonstrably Raise the High School Graduation Rate
(Intervention — Extra high school graduates if intervention is given to 100 students)
1. Perry Preschool Program (1.8 years of a center-based program for 2.5 hours per weekday, child-teacher ratio of 5:1; home visits; group meetings of parents.) 19 extra graduates.
2. First Things First (Comprehensive school reform based on small learning communities with dedicated teachers, family advocates and instructional improvement efforts.) 16 extra graduates.