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New Report Examines Student Drop Out Factors
posted by: Ruthie | May 20, 2014, 07:54 PM   

As many students and schools gear up to celebrate eminent graduations, a recent large-scale
study by America’s Promise Alliance shifts focus to why students drop out of high school.

Through in-depth interviews of more than 200 18- to 25-year-olds and a survey of 3,000 students of various demographics, the study revealed the different, and often complex, reasons a student might drop out.

One of the main reasons was the sentiment that “school is a waste of time.” Many of these students worked in construction or other unskilled professions, often providing critically-needed income.

The report also revealed 66% of young people who left school experienced a multitude of “adverse events” including physical abuse, homelessness and expulsion. Rarely did students drop out due to one risk factor. Just 10% of respondents who dropped out had “interrupted enrollment.”

Researchers also asked participants about re-engagement or going back to school. One of the main hindrances to going back was lack of information. "We don't have as much policy on recovery in my opinion, so that is something that needs attention," said Russell Rumberger, the director of the California Dropout Research Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. States and districts are often ill-equipped to reach out to these former students.

The study found that 41% of respondents cite encouragement from another individual as the reason for returning to school. Learning Works, a networks of schools in California, recognized the link between encouragement and re-enrollments and hired “chasers” to act as case managers for students.

“Whatever is going on in the dropout’s life, it is the chasers who keep them on track. That could be tutoring, that could be going to health or probation appointments, or it could be finding them a couch to sleep on that night,” explained founder and CEO Mikala Rahn.

Click here
to read the full report.

What does your school do to prevent drop-outs? Does your district or school pursue students who have already dropped out?
Comment below.


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