Friday, November 16, 2012

Study: Why do so many kids drop out?

The 2012 High School Dropouts in America survey finds that the great majority of kids who leave school early, do so because of out-of-school conditions such as family problems or economic necessity. The survey findings cut against the current mythology that bad teachers, failing schools and unions are the source of the dropout problem.
Nearly one-quarter — 23 percent — of Americans attribute their failure to complete high school to a lack of parental support or encouragement, followed by entering parenthood at 21 percent. Missing too many days of school ranked third at 17 percent. Other reasons for dropping out include failing classes (15 percent), uninteresting classes (15 percent) and suffering from mental illness (15 percent).
 One-third of high school dropouts say they are employed either full time, part time, or are self‐employed. Another 38 percent of the men and 26 percent of the women were unemployed.

According to the research, if a sixth grader in a high poverty school attends school less than 80 percent of the time, fails math or English, or receives an unsatisfactory behavior grade in a core course, there is a 75 percent chance he or she will drop out of high school.

I'm surprised that the study fails to mention the high incarceration rate among black and Latino youth and the lack of resources available to help transition them back into school once they are released.

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