Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hope for America's Students

Hope is a better predictor of future achievement than standardized tests and GPA. And, hope is probably as important as intelligence when taking an exam ( Hope plays a role in every person’s life, and it determines the academic trajectory of every student. Shouldn’t we know more about the hope of America’s students?

Measuring Hope with the Gallup Student Poll

Over the next 10 years, the Gallup Student Poll will measure the hope of every 5th through 12th grader in America. The inaugural poll surveyed 70,078 students from 335 schools and 59 districts located in 18 states and the District of Columbia. Here is a summary of the hope results from the poll.

Half of students are hopeful; these students possess numerous ideas and abundant energy for the future. The other half of students are stuck or discouraged, lacking the ideas and energy they need to navigate problems and reach goals. Hope varies little across grade levels.

Most students (95%) agree or strongly agree with the statement: “I know I will graduate from high school.” The belief that a student will graduate from high school is positively correlated with student responses to the following items: “There is an adult in my life who cares about my future” and “I can find lots of ways around any problem.” Unfortunately, there is a slight disconnect between this expectation for graduation and the potential outcome suggested by data on the dropout crisis. While 95% of today’s students say they will graduate, fewer than 75% of students will receive a high school diploma.

See for a brief video describing poll results.

Doubling Hope

Half of the young people in America need more help to develop skills for hopeful thinking. Doubling the number of hopeful kids will yield America’s Most Hopeful Generation. So, help a student in the pursuit of an important goal and teach her how to hope for a better future.

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