DROPPING OUT

DROPPING OUT

RUSSELL W. RUMBERGER
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: Harvard University Press
Pages: 400
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbwp4
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  • Book Info
    DROPPING OUT
    Book Description:

    Most kids in the developed world finish high school—but not in the United States. More than a million drop out every year, and the numbers are rising. Dropping Out provides answers to fundamental questions: Who drops out, and why? What happens to them when they do? How can we prevent at-risk kids from short-circuiting their futures?

    eISBN: 978-0-674-06316-7
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  4. 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-19)

    Cesar entered Hacienda Middle School in the Los Angeles School District in the sixth grade.¹ He lived with his mother and three younger siblings in a garage that was divided into sleeping quarters and a makeshift kitchen with no running water. His mother, who spoke only Spanish, supported the family by working long hours at a minimum-wage job.

    During the first semester of seventh grade, Cesar failed every class, in part due to poor attendance and not completing assignments. But by the end of seventh grade, with the assistance of a dropout prevention project at the school, Cesar was able...

  5. 2 THE VARYING REQUIREMENTS AND PATHWAYS FOR COMPLETING HIGH SCHOOL
    (pp. 20-46)

    High schools play a unique role in the American education system. Unlike other industrialized countries where students receive a credential after completing lower secondary (middle) or two years of upper secondary (high) school, U.S. high schools award the lowest credential—a diploma—only after completing four years.¹ More important, the diploma serves different purposes. For some students, it serves as the foundation for entry into higher education, where they will acquire more advanced skills and training that will lead to more advanced credentials. For other students, however, it represents the terminal credential. Not all high school graduates want or should...

  6. 3 THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF THE DROPOUT CRISIS
    (pp. 47-85)

    Not every student who starts high school finishes high school. Students who fail to complete high school are called high school dropouts. It would seem straightforward to determine who is a dropout and who is not. It would also seem straightforward to determine how many students drop out or graduate from high school. Yet determining who is a dropout and how many students drop out or graduate is far more difficult than it would appear. In fact, measuring dropout and graduation rates has sparked widespread debate among scholars, policy makers, and educators and has resulted in conflicting indicators of the...

  7. 4 THE INDIVIDUAL CONSEQUENCES OF DROPPING OUT
    (pp. 86-129)

    Students who drop out of school suffer a range of consequences for the rest of their lives. Dropouts face bleak economic futures—they are the least educated workers in the labor market and thus have the poorest job prospects compared to more educated workers. This means they are less likely to find jobs, and when they do find them, the jobs generally pay the lowest wages. Dropouts are also less likely than more educated workers to invest in additional education and training, further limiting their prospects for securing well-paying jobs over their entire working lives. As a result, dropouts are...

  8. 5 THE SOCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF DROPPING OUT
    (pp. 130-142)

    Dropping out has not only consequences for individuals, but also far-reaching consequences for the larger society. The low human capital of high school dropouts robs the economy of skills needed to fuel economic growth and enhance U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. The increased criminal activities from dropouts—arson, robbery, theft, rape, murder, family violence—exact tremendous economic, physical, and emotional harm on victims. The low voter and civic engagement of dropouts undermines our democratic way of life. The higher rates of teenage pregnancy and nonmarital births among dropouts have lasting consequences on their children.

    The social consequences from dropping...

  9. 6 UNDERSTANDING WHY STUDENTS DROP OUT
    (pp. 143-158)

    Why do students drop out of school? Are they unaware of the many benefits of completing high school and the severe consequences of not doing so? Or are they aware, but are uninfluenced by them? Instead, are they influenced by more immediate concerns, such as getting a job, having a baby, or escaping a dull and perhaps threatening school environment? Or are they effectively pushed out of school by boring and irrelevant classes, uncaring teachers and administrators, and unreasonable requirements and policies?

    Understanding why students drop out of school is the key to designing effective interventions to help solve this...

  10. 7 PREDICTORS OF DROPPING OUT
    (pp. 159-206)

    Scholars have conducted literally hundreds of studies to understand how and why students drop out or graduate from high school. They have also employed a wide range of research methodologies. Some scholars have conducted in-depth case studies of students and schools to understand the process of dropping out and the salient factors that contribute to that process.¹ Other scholars have used local and national data sets to develop and test elaborate statistical models to identify the unique contribution of specific factors on whether students drop out or graduate from high school.² Still other scholars have combined both approaches—so-called mixed-methods...

  11. 8 LEARNING FROM PAST EFFORTS TO SOLVE THE DROPOUT CRISIS
    (pp. 207-254)

    America’s dropout crisis is not new. High school graduation rates have hovered around 75 percent for the past forty years. Efforts to address the problem are at least as old. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy initiated a national “Summer Dropout Campaign” to increase publicity about the problem and to assist local school districts in identifying potential dropouts and in returning these students to school in the fall.¹ In 1983, the federal government issued its landmark report, A Nation at Risk, which called for more rigorous standards and higher expectations, including more rigorous high school graduation requirements.² In 1990, the...

  12. 9 WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO SOLVE THE DROPOUT CRISIS
    (pp. 255-276)

    Although the term is often overused, the issue of high school dropouts in the United States can rightly be called a crisis. First, the problem is severe, with an estimated 1.3 million students from the class of 2010—about 25 percent—failing to graduate.¹ This is among the highest in developed countries, which include our economic competitors in the world economy. More disturbing, the current high school graduation rate in the United States is no higher than it was more than forty years ago. Second, the problem is costly. Economists estimate that the economic losses from dropouts in a single...

  13. NOTES
    (pp. 279-370)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 371-380)