The United States Is Dealing With A Dropout Crisis Essays

The United States Is Dealing With A Dropout Crisis Essays

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The United States is currently dealing with a dropout crisis. Approximately every nine seconds another student leaves high school without earning a diploma (Christenson & Thurlow, 2004; Lehr, Hanson, Sinclair, & Christenson, 2003). A national report from Education Week and the Editorial Projects in Education (EPE) Research Center found that the graduation rate has dropped for the second year, after a decade that showed some increases. The report shows that, on a national scale, 11,000 fewer students will earn diplomas. These new findings raise cause for concern, as those who fail to finish high school will face far greater hardships than their graduating peers, particularly during a period of economic instability (Education Week, 2010). Dropping out is not an event that occurs at any single point in time. An increasing amount of research shows that dropping out is the final stage in an extended and complicated progression of disengagement and detachment from school (Balfanz, 2009; Bowers, 2010; Finn, 1989; Jimerson, Anderson, & Whipple, 2002; Jimerson, Reschly, & Hess, 2014; National Research Council, 2011; Rumberger & Rotermund, 2012).
It is estimated that 25% of public school students who began high school in the fall of 2000 did not earn a diploma four years later in 2003-2004 (Rumberger, 2008). More recent numbers have shown that 1.3 million students from the high school class of 2010 failed to earn a high school diploma. This means three out every ten students are failing to obtain a high school diploma (Education Week, 2010). For the 2003–2004 school year, the U.S. Department of Education estimated a national graduation rate of 74.3%. However, other recent studies have begun to re-evaluate the methods of national graduation...


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...vities and functions and being an active participant in the decision making process (Finn, 1989).
Another model proposed by Evans and DiBenedetto (1990), provides four possible pathways that focus on the interaction of the individual and school factors that can lead to student dropouts. The four pathways are unexpected events, long-term underlying problems, early skill deficits and entry problems (i.e. beginning school with emotional and/or behavioral problems). Similar to Finn’s model, this model proposes that examining student’s behaviors, rather than looking at their predetermined characteristics, better identifies dropouts. Evans and DiBenedetto believe that when a student drops out it is the result of a “snowball effect,” where the events that occurred previously have had an adverse impact on subsequent events (Evans & DiBenedetto, 1990; Jimerson et al., 2002).

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