What are the dropout rates of U.S. high school students?
As defined by the National Center for Education Statistics, the dropout rate represents the percentage of 16-24 year olds who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (a diploma or an equivalency credential such as a GED certificate).
Recent studies show that the overall dropout rate in the U.S. has decreased from 10.9 percent in 2000 to 6.1 percent in 2016. Some other interesting quick facts:
- The 2016 dropout rate was 2 percent high for male youth than for female youth
- Each year from 2002 to 2016, the dropout rate for White youth and African American youth were lower than the rate of Hispanic youth
- Students from low-income families have a dropout rate of 10 percent; students from middle income families have a dropout rate of 5.2 percent, and 1.6 percent of students from high-income families dropout
- 75 percent of America’s state prison inmates are high school dropouts
- High school dropouts are 3.5 times more likely than high school graduates to be arrested in their lifetime
How do we continue the decline of high school dropouts in our country?
According to the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC), students report a variety of reasons for dropping out of school; therefore, the solutions are multidimensional. There are, however, strategies that can be implemented to help improve a school or district’s dropout rate. The NDPC refers to four general strategic categories:
- School-Community Collaboration: Occurs when groups or agencies come together to establish an educative community. The philosophy is that everyone in the community is accountable for the quality of education, which includes the school, at home, places of worship, the media, museums, libraries, community agencies and businesses.
- Family Engagement: Research consistently shows there is a positive relationship between family engagement and academic success. For decades, federal programs such as Head Start, Follow Through, Chapter One/Title One, and Special Education have mandated that parents/family be closely involved.
Basic Core Strategies
- Mentoring: A one-to-one caring, supportive relationship between a mentor and a protégé that is based on trust. The mentor is simply a wise and trusted friend with a commitment to provide guidance and support for the mentee to develop their fullest potential based on their vision for the future.
Managing and Improving Instruction
- Professional Development: Teachers who work with youth at high risk of academic failure need to feel supported and have an avenue by which they can continue to develop skills, techniques, and learn about innovative strategies.
Just Say YES Dropout Prevention Programming
At Just Say YES, our philosophy is, “A connected student is a protected student.” We believe students of all ages deserve a chance to achieve a better brighter future, regardless of their background or circumstance. Our programs ensure that the at-risk youth in our country will be given the chance to achieve higher success, and will help to: reduce risk behaviors; improve student commitment to academics; strengthen student social-emotional awareness. By providing various programming to campuses and districts as a whole (students, educators and parents), Just Say YES programming has a lasting impact on communities for future generations to come.
Click here to learn more about our student assemblies.
Click here to learn more about our Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program.
Click here to learn more about our parent education programs.
Click here to learn more about our professional development programs.