Dropout Crisis

  • The current national high school graduation rate is 80 percent. In 2013, about one in five students did not graduate high school with their peers. [i]
  • One in four African American and nearly one in five Hispanic students still attend high schools where graduating is not the norm. [ii]
  • Among students who do graduate, 20 percent need remedial courses in college[iii] and far too few earn a college degree. Yet more than half 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 89 percent, but 11 states 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 end the dropout crisis.
  • The high school graduation rate is increasing at an accelerated pace.  We are now on pace to reach the 90 percent goal by 2020. Two states, Vermont and Wisconsin, have met the 90 percent goal; 24 states are on pace to reach the goal; 7 states need to accelerate progress and 23 are off-pace.
  • There are 583 fewer dropout factories and 1 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 25 percent and from 39 to 17 percent for Hispanics.
  • The engine of GradNation is the Civic Marshall Plan. It’s a plan of action to meet the goals and identifies the main evidenced-based strategies to address the dropout crisis.

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, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics (2013) Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10; http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2013/2013309.pdf

[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/programs/coe/indicator_rmc.asp#info

[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] 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/~/media/Files/Our-Work/Grad-Nation/Building-a-Grad-Nation/BuildingAGradNation2012.ashx

[vi] Balfanz, R, Bridgeland, J, Bruce, M, & Fox, J.H. (2013). Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2013 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: America's Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, & Everyone Graduates Center. Retrieved from http://www.civicenterprises.net/MediaLibrary/Docs/Building-A-Grad-Nation-Report-2013_Full_v1.pdf.

[vii] Balfanz, R, Bridgeland, J, Bruce, M, & Fox, J.H. (2013). Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic - 2013 Annual Update. Washington, D.C.: America's Promise Alliance, Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, & Everyone Graduates Center. Retrieved from http://www.civicenterprises.net/MediaLibrary/Docs/Building-A-Grad-Nation-Report-2013_Full_v1.pdf.

[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