Students who are involved with telementoring in high school are
more apt to graduate from high school than those high school
students who aren't involved in telementoring.  Telementoring is
the cyber-technology driven version of mentoring using various
methods of electronic communications.  I wish to explore how
telementoring may serve as a method to assist in increasing high
school graduation rates.  

I am trying to prove that when high school students are
influenced by many forces in society, (parents, business,
government, and citizens) their chances for graduation from high
school will be greater than those students who are not influenced
by society.  Society is trying to influence schools and educators
are devising ways to keep society out.  Telementoring may be a
political way to solve this problem.  Graduation rates are still
a main topic in most states as witnessed by the recent rash of
"standards" debates in our states.  Improving the quality of and
quantity of high school graduates is the main focus of
telementoring.  One of the reasons telementoring may be viable at
this time is that society and education are talking and
collaborating.  Efforts to wire the schools, to provide
computers, and to fund the schools, demonstrate society's desire
to assist in the education of its citizens.  A theory I am trying
to prove is that society can help educate its population through
telementoring. Providing society access to schools has always
been a logistically difficult matter and politically dangerous. 
However, with improvements in technology, telementoring can serve
as the vehicle to overcome these logistical impossibilities
because telementoring can provide access to many more by many
more and not just to the powerful or privileged.  Communities are
forming online parent's groups which are interacting with the
students in the schools which are wired.  Administrators,
teachers, and businesses all have their own electronic means of
communicating within their own groups.  Using the same vehicle,
electronic communications, I wish to show how high school
graduation rates will rise in quality and quanity.  

The concept of the village educating the child was introduced
long ago and more recently re-introduced by the First Lady. 
Include the notion espoused by many former Presidents who joined
with Colin Powell in Philadelphia recently to form a corps of
volunteers.  Add to that the efforts of John Gage to wire the
schools and another Presidential mandate to study how to improve
race relations in America; I see telementoring fitting right into
the scheme of things politically and pedagogically. 
Telementoring provides the means of communicating and presenting
ideas and including many in the process of educating. 
Telementoring provides audience for the students and mentoring
from a volunteer who has a concern for education.  Telementoring
allows for involvement by parents, business, government, and
citizens in the education of its citizens.  Telementoring is a
vehicle which will help carry the political ideas, cultural
values, and pedagogy to the people and raise the graduation rates
in number and quality.  It is community politics.

The data which will be of interest to me include: number of
students in the school, size of each grade-level class,
graduating percentages of senior classes in past, percentage
involved in telementoring, analysis of methods of telementoring,
Internet access in school, at home.  Further I will be seeking
methods of retrieving and assessing data concerned with
telementoring as a means to break the single teacher mold, to
provide a more open doored policy, to create more performance
driven curricula, to form a community which involves parents,
alumni, teachers, students, school boards, administrators, and
citizens.  Telementoring continues and enhances the grassroots
running of education in America by its local communities because
it provides a means for society to be involved in education. 
From government agencies like OERI, ERIC, and many others, I will
be gathering statistical data.  Telementoring data will be
collected from spots around the country which are actively
involved in telementoring.  They include: University of Texas at
Austin, Judy Harris contact; Hewlett Packard telementoring
program, David Neils contact; Department of Energy's database of
mentoring and telementoring projects; the students of New York
City's Murry Bergtraum High School; and other sources as they

Much of the major literature on telementoring, of course, is
online at those spots listed in the previous paragraph.  Many
more articles about telementoring appear in online magazines
called zines.  Specific educational zines such as Kairos, CMC,
Edweek, Teacher, provide useful information and data to support
the effectiveness of telementoring on the graduation rate of high
schoolers.  Articles in commercial magazines and newspapers have
discussed the merits of telementoring.  Since telementoring is a
relatively new application of the age old practice of mentoring,
literature about mentoring should certainly be referred to.

I expect to conclude that telementoring has a positive effect on
the graduation rate of high schoolers.  I suspect this because
telementoring is relieving some of the pressures from society's
desire to direct education by letting them into the schools.  I
further hope to add more fodder too the argument that it takes a
village to educate the child.  Telementoring may provide a
partial solution to "too many kids for too few teachers." 
Telementoring may bring many of the political ideas and cultural
values to America's youth.  I expect to conclude that
telementoring not only has a positive effect on the graduation
rate of high schools, but that it will help create a better
Ted Nellen