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"At-Risk" Deintition

Posted By: David Seaman on July 25, 2003
Mr. Savage,
The term "at risk" was coined in 1981 by researchers at the Univeristy of Michigan and, at that time, referred to those students who are at risk of not graduating for one reason or other. A list of what a typical st risk student folowed in their introduction and it was noted that many of them were male, minority, from single parent homes, who suffered from a learning dissability. My own experience in the classroom has taught me that the risk of not graduating is far less severe than the realities of the 21st century and I have put the term "at risk" aside and have replaced it with my own coinage: endangered. Today's critical challenge for students has more to do with keeping them alive, out of jail, not pregnant, clean of drugs and alcohol, served by mental health providers, or not murdered. One out of five students will be sexually assaulted by the time they reach their 16th birthday. Male and Female. These students are at risk and frankly, saving their lives is far more important than saving their diplomas.
I am currently doing research on the affect of music education for these students. If we can help each other (or anyone else out there) please feel free to contact me.
David Seaman
Univeristy of Massachusetts
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 Students at Risk by Richard Savage Savage on February 19, 2002
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