Dropout Crisis Facts

 

Dropout Crisis

  • The current national high school graduation rate is 81 percent. [i]
  • One in four African American and nearly one in six Hispanic students still attend “dropout factories,” high schools where fewer than 60 percent of students graduate.  [ii]
  • Among students who do graduate, 20 percent need remedial courses in college [iii] and far too few earn a college degree. Yet some studies suggest that 50 percent or more of all new jobs in the next decade will require some postsecondary education. [iv]
  • 18 states still allow students to leave school before the age of 18.[v]
  • Graduation rates are uneven for students of different races, ethnicities, family incomes, disabilities, and English proficiencies. These “graduation gaps” imperil progress. There are no states where the graduation rate for African American, Hispanic, or economically disadvantaged students is above 90 percent, but 10 states where that is true for white students. [vi]

The Good News[vii]

  • We have reason to be optimistic. Graduation rates are rising. We know what to do, and we know where to focus. GradNation is a large and growing movement of dedicated organizations, individuals and communities working to end America’s dropout crisis and prepare young people for college and the 21st century workforce.You can help prepare all students to graduate and take that important step for adult success.
  • The high school graduation rate continues to increase.  For the second year in a row, the country is on pace to reach the goal of a 90 percent nationwide on-time graduation rate by the Class of 2020. 
  • Many states already have graduation rates of 85 percent or above.  Two states, Vermont and Wisconsin, have reached the 89 percent goal, and three others—Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Texas—are at 88 percent.  At the same time, five states—Alaska, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon—are at or below 70 percent.
  • There are 648 fewer dropout factories and 1.5 million fewer students attending them in 2011 than in 2002. The percentage of African American students attending dropout factories has dropped from nearly 50 to 23 percent and from 39 to 15 percent for Hispanics.

State of Our Children & Nation

  • A high school diploma matters to individuals, communities, and society. High school graduates are more likely to be employed, make higher taxable income, and aid in job generation.
  • If we had already reached the GradNation goal, the additional graduates from a single class would have increased GDP by an estimated $6.6 billion annually. [viii]
  • Graduates are less likely to engage in criminal behavior or require social services.[ix] They have better health and longer life expectancy.[x] High school graduates are more likely to be engaged in their communities, with higher rates of voting and volunteering.[xi]


 

[i] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), “NCES Common Core of Data State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data file,” School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a.  See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_coi.asp

 [ii] U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics.  (1998-2011). Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Surveys.

[iii]  National Center for Education Statistics. (2013), Statistics in Brief: First Year Undergraduate Remedial Coursetaking: 1999-2000, 2003-04, 2007-08. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013013.pdf

[iv] The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (2010). Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018. www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/FullReport.pdf

[v] Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Fox, J.H., DePaoli, J., Ingram, E., & Maushard, M. (2014). Building a GradNation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2014 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: America's Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, & Everyone Graduates Center. Retrieved from http://gradnation.org/resource/building-gradnation-progress-and-challenge-ending-high-school-dropout-epidemic-2014   

[vi] Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Fox, J.H., DePaoli, J., Ingram, E., & Maushard, M. (2014). Building a GradNation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2014 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: America's Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, & Everyone Graduates Center. Retrieved from http://gradnation.org/resource/building-gradnation-progress-and-challenge-ending-high-school-dropout-epidemic-2014.

[vii] Balfanz, R., Bridgeland, J., Fox, J.H., DePaoli, J., Ingram, E., & Maushard, M. (2014). Building a GradNation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2014 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: America's Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, & Everyone Graduates Center. Retrieved from http://gradnation.org/resource/building-gradnation-progress-and-challenge-ending-high-school-dropout-epidemic-2014

[viii] Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Crisis, a report by Civic Enterprises, Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, America’s Promise Alliance and Alliance for Excellent Education, March 2012. http://www.americaspromise.org/Our-Work/Grad-Nation/Building-a-Grad-Nation.aspx

[ix] U.S. Department of Labor. (2010). America’s Youth at 23: School Enrollment, Training, and Employment Transitions between Age 22 and 23. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Labor Statistics. www.bls.gov/nls/nlsy97; Andrew Sum et al. (2009). The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School: Joblessness and Jailing for High School Dropouts and the High Costs for Taxpayers. Boston, MA: Center for Labor Market Studies; Lochner and Moretti, “The Effect of Education on Crime”, www.nber.org/papers/w8605

[x] Pleis J.R., Lucas J.W., Ward B.W. (2010, December). Summary Health Statistics for the U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2009, Vital and Health Statistics Series 10, no. 249. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_249.pdf; Rumberger, Russell W. (2012, January 24). America Cannot Afford The Stiff Price Of A Dropout Nation. Silicon Valley Education Foundation. http://toped.svefoundation.org/2012/01/24/america-cannot-afford-the-stiff-price-of-a-dropout-nation/; Muenning, Peter. (2005). The Economic Value of Health Gains Associated with Education Interventions. New York: Columbia University. Retrieved from http://www.schoolfunding.info/news/policy/Muennig%20-%20Health%20and%20Education.pdf.

[xi] CIRCLE. (2012, November 15). Young Voters in the 2012 Presidential Election: The Educational Gap Remains. [Graph: Young Voters by Educational Attainment, 2012 Presidential Election]. Retrieved from http://www.civicyouth.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2012-Exit-Poll-by-E...




*Additional economic statistics for the nation and individual states can be found at www.all4Ed.org