Dropping Out of High School

November 21, 2010

In today’s  NY Times, Thomas Friedman cited some of education secretary Arne Duncan’s data points used in his call-to-action to solve our Nation’s high school drop-out epidemic.  Recently a team of our firm’s researchers studied 2,000 youngsters who re-entered high school, essentially dropping back in.  Among the findings we learned three key things.

  1. These students asserted that they did not want to be called “drop outs”.  The stereotyping and labeling are demeaning and not helpful.
  2. They asserted that educators should stop blaming their families and their economic or immigration status.  Rather, these students cite broken relationships with high school educators, bullying, and lack of perceived value in classroom activities as drivers for their dropping out or intent to drop out.
  3. These students reinforced the work of other researchers—in that the deterioration of their school experiences and academic trauma began in 7th or 6th grade.

As we step-up to answer Secretary Duncan’s call-to-action, we must embrace what works and the facts surrounding the problem.  Engaging classrooms with authentic and caring relationships are a good start.

Download a copy of the full report, “Dropping Out: Stereotypes vs. Reality“ at our website www.atlanticresearchpartners.org or call (904)501-1901.

Have a great week.

JW

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One Comment on “Dropping Out of High School

  1. This research is vital — and the three key findings noted by Dr. Wise need to be taped to the desks of every educator in America. If we want to end the dropout crisis, we must start by acknowledging that the blame-the-victim mentality that has dominated the conversation for some many decades is just plain wrong.

    – NoDropouts.org

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