ERIC Number: ED275799
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Dropping Out: How Much Do Schools Contribute to the Problem?
Wehlage, Gary G.; Rutter, Robert A.
This study looks beyond the individuals who drop out to determine the role of schools in the dropout process. It presents a profile of dropouts including the following characteristics: (1) low socioeconomic status, (2) poor school performances, and (3) in-school delinquency. It also addresses the reasons students give for dropping out. The data provide a picture of dropouts very close to that of non-college-bound adolescents who complete high school. Institutional characteristics seem to account for the separation between stay-ins and dropouts. In the typical high school where many drop out, teachers are not particularly interested in students and the discipline system is perceived as neither effective nor fair. The effects of dropping out on self-esteem and locus of control are seen as outcomes of formal schooling, dependent rather than independent variables. This report sees student and school interacting to produce dropouts, with schools having a responsibility to respond to students who are at risk. Three general policy reforms are recommended: (1) an enhanced sense of professional accountability among educators toward all students, (2) a renewed effort to establish legitimate authority within the institution, and (3) redefining school work to allow more students to achieve success and satisfaction. (LHW)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Madison.