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ERIC Number: ED506786
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
The High Cost of High School Dropouts: What the Nation Pays for Inadequate High Schools. Issue Brief
Alliance for Excellent Education
Every school day, more than seven thousand students become dropouts. Annually, that adds up to about 1.3 million students who will not graduate from high school with their peers as scheduled. Lacking a high school diploma, these individuals will be far more likely than graduates to spend their lives periodically unemployed, on government assistance, or cycling in and out of the prison system. Most high school dropouts see the result of their decision to leave school very clearly in the slimness of their wallets. The impact on the country's economy is less visible, but cumulatively its effect is staggering. If the nation's secondary schools improved sufficiently to graduate all of their students, rather than the 69 percent of students who currently graduate annually, the payoff would be significant. This paper concludes that whatever the causes, the nation can no longer afford to have one third of its students leaving high school without a diploma. High schools must be improved to give all students the excellent education that will prepare them for college or a career, and to be productive members of society. (Contains 14 endnotes.)
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: MetLife Foundation
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education, Washington, DC.