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Dropouts linked to background, attendance, interest

The+dropout+rate+dropped+three+percent+between+1990+and+2010%2C+according+to+the+US+Department+of+Education.
The dropout rate dropped three percent between 1990 and 2010, according to the US Department of Education.

The dropout rate dropped three percent between 1990 and 2010, according to the US Department of Education.

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

photo by Andrew Okwuosah

The dropout rate dropped three percent between 1990 and 2010, according to the US Department of Education.

by Naronie Jerome , Staff Writer

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Every day, 7,000 kids decide to forgo an opportunity that may determine their ability to be successful – graduating high school. That’s an average of one every 26 seconds.

According to the US Department of Education, 1.2 million students drop out of high school every year. However, the dropout rate has fallen three percent from 1990 to 2010 to 7.4 percent. 

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Dropout Prevention research brief, low-income families are 2.4 percent more likely to dropout than middle-class students and 10.5 percent more likely than high income families. The brief also states that 36.4 percent of disabled youth dropout.

Race and ethnicity is also a factor. According to the study, Hispanics are at greater risk of dropping out than either white or black students. Nearly 40 percent of Hispanics dropout before the eighth grade. 

Students with poor attendance for reasons other than illness are more likely to dropout.

The brief states that 47 percent of students with high GPAs that ended up dropping out were bored or disengaged from high school and 42 percent were not interested.

Circumstances may also determine a students availability at school. Thirty two percent had to get a job and make money, twenty-six percent became a parent, and 22 percent had to care for family member(s). 

School life can discourage a student just as well. Thirty five percent of students that dropped out said failing in school was their reasoning, 45 percent were poorly prepared from previous schooling, 32 percent had to repeat a grade, and 38 percent had too much freedom and not enough rules. 

Assistant Principal Christi Osborne says the reasons are mainly because “some kids are not taught that education is important”. She also adds frustration is an impact.

School counselor Antoinette Dickerson says the reason is usually because “they want money now.”

Osborne’s way of helping these students is by showing them alternatives to dropping out. During her previous years in working at a performance learning center (PLC), she helped a ninth grader that was going to dropout graduate by talking the student out of dropping out. Dickerson has a similar mindset and helps out by talking to the student and their parents and suggests alternative schools. 

According to the brief, four out of five (81 percent) people said there should be more opportunities for real world learning. Students need to see connection between school and getting a job. 

“School is tough,” junior Chelcey Glorie said. “It doesn’t matter what grade you’re in, it’s going to be tough period because the only way for you to be successful is if you go to school and take the classes that you need.” 

Osborne said that dropping out can be a lesson people learn from and find themselves suffering from the consequences. Dickerson said that some students end up doing well but she does not encourage it. 

Seventy-one percent of people said that if they could start over, they would have stayed in school.

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Dropouts linked to background, attendance, interest