ERIC Number: ED484525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Reference Count: 42
Locating the Dropout Crisis. Which High Schools Produce the Nation's Dropouts? Where Are They Located? Who Attends Them? Report 70
Balfanz, Robert; Legters, Nettie
Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk CRESPAR
The purpose of this report was to locate the dropout crisis- to determine its scale and scope by identifying the number of high schools with severe dropout problems, detailing the states, cities, and locales where they are concentrated, and establishing who attends them. For this analysis of high schools across the country, two cut-points were used to identify those that have high dropout and low graduation rates. The first cut point is high schools in which there are 50% or fewer seniors than freshmen four years earlier. These high schools are classified as those with the worst promoting power in the U.S. because in these schools students have less than a 50/50 chance of graduating on time, if at all. The second cut point used was high schools in which there are 60% or fewer seniors than freshmen. This second cut point was added because analysis of the data revealed a large number of high schools with promoting power between 50% and 60%. It is analytically useful to isolate the high schools with the worst promoting power but also identify all high schools in which graduation is likely not the norm. Identifying high schools with promoting power of 60% or less provides a good estimate of the number of high schools with severe dropout rates and thus can be used to locate the high schools which produce the majority of the nation's dropouts. Findings include in this study, but are not limited to the following: (1) Nearly half of our nation's African American students, nearly 40% of Latino students, and only 11% of white students attend high schools in which graduation is not the norm; (2) Between 1993 and 2002, the number of high schools with the lowest levels of success in promoting freshmen to senior status on time (a strong correlate of high dropout and low graduation rates) increased by 75%, compared with only an 8% increase in the total number of high schools; and (3) There are currently between 900 and 1,000 high schools in the country in which graduating st a 50/50 proposition. In 2,000 high schools, a typical freshman class shrinks by 40% or more by the time the students reach their senior year. This represents nearly one in five regular or vocational high schools in the U.S. that enroll 300 or more students. The following are appended: (1) Additional Tables; and (2) Technical Notes.
Descriptors: High Schools, Statistical Data, Dropouts, White Students, Graduation Rate, Dropout Rate, African American Students, Hispanic American Students, Tables (Data), Vocational High Schools
Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Publications Department, CRESPAR/Johns Hopkins University, 3003 N. Charles St., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21218. Web site: http://www.csos.jhu.edu.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.
IES Cited: ED565617