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High School Dropouts in America

High School Dropouts in America - High School Dropouts in...

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High School Dropouts in America Over a million of the students who enter ninth grade each fall fail to graduate with their peers four years later. In fact, about seven thousand students drop out every school day. Perhaps this statistic was acceptable fifty years ago, but the era in which a high school dropout could earn a living wage has ended in the United States. Dropouts significantly diminish their chances to secure a good job and a promising future. Moreover, not only do the individuals themselves suffer, but each class of dropouts is responsible for substantial financial and social costs to the communities, states, and country in which they live. Although graduation rates are a fundamental indicator of how schools are ultimately performing, only recently have those rates been rigorously scrutinized and the extent of the crisis in America‘s high school been revealed. For decades, schools and districts published misleading or inaccurate graduation rates, and as a result, the American public knew little of the scope and gravity of the problems faced by far too many of the nation‘s high schools. Reputable, independent research has exposed alarmingly low graduation rates that were previously hidden behind inaccurate calculations and inadequate data. Who Is Dropping Out? Overall, far too many students are not graduating on time with a regular diploma; low-income and minority students fare the worst in the dropout epidemic. Each year, approximately 1.2 million students fail to graduate from high school, more than half of whom are from minority groups. 1 Nationally, about 71 percent of all students graduate from high school on time with a regular diploma, but barely half of African American and Hispanic students earn diplomas with their peers. In many states the difference between white and minority graduation rates is stunning; in several cases there is a gap of as many as 40 or 50 percentage points. 2 A sixteen- to twenty-four-year-old coming from the highest quartile of family income is about seven times as likely to have completed high school as a sixteen- to twenty-four-year-old coming from the lowest quartile.
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