Which students give up on high school first?

The National Center for Education Statistics is providing updated snapshots of U.S. students through data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of more than 23,000 ninth-graders in 2009.

ddndiplomaartAccording to the feds: Approximately 2.7 percent of 2009 ninth-graders had dropped out of school by spring 2012 when most would have been in eleventh grade.

The latest data set provides a snapshot of  these “early high school dropouts,” those who dropped out of school between ninth and eleventh grade without earning a high school diploma or any alternative credential such as a GED.

Key findings include:

  • Between 2009 and 2012, some 2.7 percent of males and 2.6 percent of females had dropped out, a difference that is not statistically significant.
  •  Asian students dropped out at the lowest rate (0.3 percent), compared with White (2.1 percent), Black (4.3 percent), and Hispanic (3.5 percent) students.
  • Nearly 5 percent (4.7 percent) of students whose family socioeconomic status was in the lowest 20 percent had dropped out, compared with 0.6 percent of their peers in the highest 20 percent.

Reader Comments 0

104 comments
bu2
bu2

Maybe the Fulton County effort to get more charters in South Fulton will make a difference.  There's an AJC article today on it.


Its a school district willing to allow outside charter operators in to see if it can help students.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Is anyone talking to the dropouts to determine why?

Without an answer to that question, we can only speculate as to the reasons, and chances are, the problem will remain unsolved. It wouldn't hurt to ask them how involved or encouraging their parents were.

DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

@FIGMO2 Yes, there is extensive research on this issue, much of it gathered from dropouts themselves. I posted at the very bottom of this page about the complexity of the dropout profile and the many reasons why kids leave school.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

My take on this is we can pay on the front end: smaller schools, more intensive help, etc,  OR we can pay THROUGH the back end:  Crime, illegitimacy, truancy, drugs, drop outs, general downhill turn of our country.


So far, over the last 20-30 years, we are continuing to ignore those "back end" results.

DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

@Wascatlady To put a financial lens on the problem: it costs approximately $8,400 a year, on average, to educate a student in Georgia's public schools. The annual expense of incarcerating a juvenile in this state is $90,000. 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Wascatlady  Better schools has not been proven to solve all the problems you mention.  If you took the thugs of South DeKalb and enrolled them in Walton High School, do you think they would stop being thugs?

booful98
booful98

@class80olddog @Wascatlady And what defines a better school? Walton gets $9,760 per student and South Fulton gets $9,427. The $300 cannot make the such a massive difference in results.

Bernie31
Bernie31

I find it Very STRANGE and ODD throughout the many comments posted. There is NO mention of or a discsussion of the "ELEPHANT" in the room. The Elephant which has been a Major contributing factor to this growing trend in increased Drop OUT rates Nation Wide. I am referring to the failed UNFUNDED Republican Presidential mandate of the "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" fiasco implemented by our very own VILLAGE IDIOT, George W.Bush..


Surely, no one can ignore the impact of the contribution of this Failed mandate to an already increasing trend. 

An ACT that quickly fueled these DROP OUT RATES to higher NUMBERS  over a shorter period of time in the History of American Educations since the 1965.


Out of All the theoreticalreasons posted here to explain this occurrence. There seems and appears to be a complete disregard, dismissing and whitewashing of its overwhelming impact in the contrbuting increase in these drop out rates currently by this failed Presidental mandate. What is really behind such thinking and reasoning?


bu2
bu2

@Bernie31 

NCLB focused on the often ignored groups.  They have done much better since that law was passed.  Graduation rates are up overall nationwide.

booful98
booful98

@bu2 @Bernie31 You know what the result of No Child Left Behind was? No Child Got Ahead.

Often ignored groups, my behind. They get a massive portion of the limited resources.

popacorn
popacorn

@Bernie31 The elephant is and always will be the intelligence gap which you display loudly and daily. 

bu2
bu2

@booful98 @bu2 @Bernie31 

While there may be some truth in your first paragraph, previously groups were allowed to sit through classes and not learn.  Many school districts didn't care.  NCLB made them accountable for everyone.

Antagonist
Antagonist

"It takes a village." This is such an important statement in education. We need neighborhood schools and we need to clean up our neighborhoods that house them. Until the lawmakers in Atlanta, county commissions, city councils,  and school boards get serious about both, I'm not sure how much real progress can be made. The teachers cannot do it all alone yet they are doing a tremendous job with little help from those mentioned above. Lip service does not service a student or a classroom.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@ProHumanitate


True, but they need financial resources from lawmakers to make this plan more viable and stronger for the students.  I would also suggest counselors, outside of the school day, in this community development, for students in order to show them a positive way out of some of their dire situations. It does take a village. And, all Georgians should care to be a part of this effort in behalf of students and their families, coming from love not judgment.

redweather
redweather

@Antagonist  The only thing is that some neighborhoods aren't neighborhoods.  They're collections of apartment complexes with little in common except the secondary streets they travel on.  The same goes for community.  Don't have any numbers to back this up but would bet money the lowest performing schools also have the highest percentage of transient students.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@Antagonist

We can do this as communities. See the East Durham Children's Initiative, modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone. Seriously assess what the kids and families need in defined communities to ensure the kids are attending school regularly, and hook them up with currently available resources to address the impacts of poverty. It will be different for each community. Maybe kids need access to health care to keep them from missing school due to things like asthma. Maybe they need after school activities and tutoring. Maybe they need access to supplemental enrichment like summer camps to counter summer learning loss. Maybe adults need parenting classes and resources to ensure kids are read to in early years. Maybe more coordinated support in finding stable housing can prevent kids from switching schools during the school year. It does take a village.

Antagonist
Antagonist

@redweather @Antagonist Yes, we've moved right along in our twenty-first century, haven't we? But we still can have schools where children are not bussed all over the city or all over the county, especially when they are so young and vulnerable. Your neighborhood root, in this case, can be the school and the branches can be those families who have children in that school.  Look at the areas or small towns that have literally died because the schools were taken from the area. Schools put life into an area be it city or country town. There is a great deal of discussion of the need to work on our country's infrastructure. I cannot think of a better infrastructure than our schools!


Please, think out of the box on this one redweather. We can all make this work. Everybody wins.

Antagonist
Antagonist

@ProHumanitate @Antagonist  Wonderful idea! I am all in favor of this!  I've read about this and watched several reports, too. The problem becomes those currently in charge. How do you motivate others? Would this type of neighborhood serve their current agenda? We have one person who does this sort of work all alone and she gets very little support but there is a pittance of a grant and a box on some sort of state report that can be checked.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Many doubted the "usefulness" of MLK's dream, also.  One must envision a more productive, kinder future society before it happens in reality.

redweather
redweather

@Antagonist @redweather  Hold on there.  Claiming "it takes a village" does not mean YOU are thinking outside the box.  It means you've adopted a well worn slogan, okay? 


My local DeKalb County high school, demographically speaking, bears no relationship to the "village" in which it is located.  But it is new, and very big, with fantastic athletic facilities, and since it opened its doors about eight years ago thousands of students have been bused in from other "villages" every morning and bused back to their "villages" in the afternoon.  Not sure how my village can help theirs. Perhaps you can tell me.       

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@ProHumanitate 


Also, financial resources allotted through Georgia's legislature would give hope to impoverished communities that others, outside of their own communities, care for their improvement.  That hope, and that care, would go much further in building positive results than most people realize, imo.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@Antagonist

My point is the school counselor, social worker and nurse (if the school even has any of those, and many don't or they're covering multiple schools) are stretched too thin. The larger community needs to step in, in a coordinated way. There are some organizations currently trying to do this. One is Communities in Schools.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @bu2 

There are programs like the pre-school ECI programs that are very helpful.  But things like DeKalb's parenting centers are going to be used overwhelmingly by the people who already are doing the right things and not by those who really need them.  The resources would be much better spent on individual tutoring in the schools for those who need it.

ProHumanitate
ProHumanitate

@MaryElizabethSings @ProHumanitate

You're right, of course. I didn't mean to imply that state funding would not be nice/helpful/essential. Just that we don't need state permission to get started and certainly don't need the state to run it.

Mirva
Mirva

Students in Georgia are legally allowed to leave school at the age of 16 with parent consent. Most of the bloggers here routinely talk about parent responsibility, parent choice and parental power.  Well, the parents of these drop-outs have made a choice.  Not one that most of us would agree with, but non the less, they are empowered to make this decision. As people who work at these schools, we can do everything in our power to encourage kids and their parents to stay, but we can’t force them.  A parent exercising their law given rights should not a stigma on the school.


DrMonicaHenson
DrMonicaHenson

@Mirva The problem with not making a minor student a dropout a "stigma on the school," i.e., not requiring the school to code it as a dropout and therefore the dropout not having a negative impact on the school's CCRPI score, is that it would allow districts to push out "undesirable" students, especially those who might not score well on State tests. Decades ago, many states treated a student who left high school to get a GED as a transfer, and many students would get pressured to leave school.

Antagonist
Antagonist

@Mirva  What is high school becoming? Look at the demeanor of the high school students? Look at the parental support? Look at the technology abuse? Look at the consequences of bad behavior or poor study habits or lack of attendance or lack of class work? The high schools offer quick-fixes to all of this. If a quick-fix is all it takes to get a high school diploma after all of this, well then, the work world must not be nearly as bad as everyone says it is........What kind of messages are the high schools sending the students? The students who do everything they are supposed to do get the same diploma as the student who plays the system. What kind of messages are the high schools sending the students?





popacorn
popacorn

'Asian students dropped out at the lowest rate (0.3 percent), compared with White (2.1 percent), Black (4.3 percent), and Hispanic (3.5 percent) students.'

Hmmmm, where have we seen this hierarchy before? Why does it NEVER change?

Bernie31
Bernie31

@popacorn - You have seen it in your forever constant thinking in your racist,bigoted, prejudical and unchristian like thinking and beliefs of people like you of your generation. A cancerous infection of PURE EVIL in people and a generation like YOU, carry with them every second of the day. A people and generation whose time is quickly and thankfully facing its DEMISE in this Nation and World. A generation, the Spirit of America will be forever thankful for its ETERNAL Silence in their graves. Things will change when your HATE is silent beside you Six-Feet under or Burned with your filthy thinking inhumane remains to never walk this Earth again. Praise Jesus!

class80olddog
class80olddog

Why not the statistics comparing those who drop out of school to their personal attendance rate.  THAT would be interesting!

Kodie56
Kodie56

@class80olddog 

I would love to see graduation rates for the students who chose to come to school.  Remove the non attending students from the graduation rate formula.  Schools are punished for not being able to account for the students  that disappear from their rolls.  Schools should not be held responsible for students that move or return to their home countries without having informed the school prior to leaving.  Teachers being held accountable for factors beyond their control is going to cause the education system some darn good teachers!

class80olddog
class80olddog

This article does not go deep enough.  MaryElizabethSings is correct below when she says " the reasons for the poverty vary".  My family was "poverty" level, but NEVER accepted welfare or food stamps, and there were two parents present.  But the most common cause of poverty is single-parent household, usually very young, without a good job to support the children.  It is the CAUSES of poverty that also cause problems of school, not the poverty itself - bad choices, drugs, alcohol, etc.


Schools cannot fight poverty - they do not have money to give away to families. All they can do is fight the symptoms of poverty - MAKE parents get their kids to school on time every day - even if it means putting the parent in JAIL. 


Poor parenting causes poverty and problems in schools.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog


Your family was the product of white generational poverty.  Many of the failing schools are products of black generational poverty.  I should not have to explain to anyone the critical differences in these two situations, based upon America's history.


Schools most certainly can help alleviate poverty by keeping more students in schools until they graduate and that takes societal wisdom.  I will remind all that public schools were the main vehicles for transforming the South from a segregated society to an integrated one.  Public schools are the microcosms of our society as a whole, and much can be accomplished both in public schools for individual students and for the evolution of society-at large, with more wisdom and magnanimity of heart.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@bu2 @MaryElizabethSings @class80olddog I can't speak about a poor black south Atlanta family, but I have taught over 1000 poor white Appalachian kids over the last 40+ years, and one thing I have observed is that many don't seem to feel that  their actions make a difference in the outcome of their  lives,  Whether it is faith-based "predestination" or learned or culturack of self-efficacy, I don't know.


There is a strong sense of family expectations, as expressed as "You shouldn't try to get beyond your raising."  If grandpa quit after 6th grade, and dad and mom after 10th, then there can be a subtle pressure not to aspire higher.


This are characteristics I have observed.  It is only that; no statistics available.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @Mandella88 Now this has been handed to teachers. At least in my area, teachers have to document that they called the parents after 3, 5, 8, etc, absences.  This is in addition to the 20 other responsibilities that have been passed to them, in addition to planning,implementing, evaluating, and remediating instruction.

Mandella88
Mandella88

@class80olddog @Mandella88

No, the central office controlled the truancy officers, not the schools.  There is no budget available for these positions anymore (unless you are willing to raise taxes...).

gactzn2
gactzn2

@class80olddog Good point- Keep in mind that the metropolitan area has also become a transplant city, and many have come here with marginal skills. Many lack community or family roots here which complicates child rearing. This makes it very difficult for them to be a resource to their kids if they are working 2-3 jobs and are the sole provider.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2


I did not "blame" anyone.  Blaming is not my thing.  I simply tried to bring the truth of historical perspective into the discussion.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Centuries of slavery and Jim Crow are not easily overcome in 40 years, or one or two generations. The white race did not have to endure centuries of that legalized societal isolation and deprivation.  Btw. my father grew up in the Appalachian mountains of western NC, but he attended some fine schools there where education was a priority.

Antagonist
Antagonist

@gactzn2 @class80olddog  However, if the school was solid and offered a solid environment for their children with solid resources, couldn't much of this be side-stepped?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog Unfortunately, at least in my area, parents are not held to keeping their children in school.  The juvenile judges rotate in and out; there is no stability in judges.  Then they give parents chance after chance, and virtually NEVER put the parents in jail.  It is a major source of frustration for school authorities.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Mandella88 @class80olddog  There is PLENTY of money - we are spending FOUR TIMES what we spent in the sixties - you just have to relocate the money from some other useless department.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings

Ah yes, the "blame whitey excuse". A black student sits beside a white student from Pre-k to graduation, has the same teachers, the same textbooks, but the white student does better.  Therefore, it must be because of something that happened 200 years ago.  Gotcha.