It has been known for many years that young people who don't complete high school face many more problems in later life than do people who graduate. While national leaders have demanded that schools, communities, and families make a major effort to retain students, the dropout rate remains high. A report from the Educational Testing Service, "One-Third of a Nation: Rising Dropout Rates and Declining Opportunities," warns little is being done to stem rising dropout rates and their economic costs.
Students drop out for many reasons, some which may even seem like good ones at the time - to help out their families or to start new ones, for example - and their decisions may be supported by the people closest to them in the belief that they have no choice; but the consequences of leaving can be great.
Warning Signs of Dropping Out
The following information shows certain groups of young people whose members are more likely than others to leave school before graduating.
Students in large cities are twice as likely to leave school before graduation than non-urban youth.
More than one in four Hispanic youth drop out, and nearly half leave by the eighth grade.
Hispanics are twice as likely as African Americans to drop out. White and Asian American students are least likely to drop out.
More than half the students who drop out leave by the tenth grade, 20% quit by the eighth grade, and 3% drop out by the fourth grade.
Nearly 25% changed schools two or more times, with some changing for disciplinary reasons.
Almost 20% were held back a grade, and almost half failed a course.