NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED551553
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 253
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4668-6
An Exploration of Factors That Influence the High School Dropout Rate
Mccombs, L. Baron
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Keiser University
When children leave school for the very last time without receiving a high school diploma, they do so quietly. For them there is no fanfare, no bells, no pomp and circumstances--it is a "shameful walk" of despair and of dreams lost. For them it is, "the end of the line on a train to nowhere." The purpose of this sequential explanatory mixed-method study was to determine if there is a relationship between gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic level, number of days suspended, number of days absent, number of times retained, and the decision to matriculate or dropout of school. In addition, this study explored the factors that influence student propensity to drop out of school. By analyzing the educational attainment data from 5 cohort-years of a midsize Florida public school district using cross-tabulation analysis, chi-square analysis, phi-coefficient, Cramer's "V", Pearson's "r", logistic regression analysis, and conducting 32 phenomenological semistructured interviews with dropouts, parents, and school staff, this study examined the factors that affected the high school graduation and dropping-out behavior of over 22,500 students for school years 2007-2011. The findings of this research reaffirmed the notion that the signs of school disengagement are oftentimes complex, misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misdiagnosed by parents and school officials alike. Yet, when given accurate and reliable longitudinal graduation and dropout data, school leaders and educational policy makers are able to put in place the programs and policies that help students succeed. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that significant statistical difference does exist between the educational attainment of ethnic minorities and their non-minority counterparts. In this midsize Florida public school district the ever-widening chasm of educational attainment between some ethnic minority groups and their White and Asian counterparts, exists and is operating full-force. What is known about this phenomenon of dropping out is that being a dropout places a severe burden on the student, his or her family, and the nation--in emotional and economic ways. This research made clear that that there is a deep-rooted pain buried within the heart of the high school dropout that surfaced each time a participant in this research project was asked the question, "Think back to the very moment you realized that you were not going to graduate from high school, what did it feel like?" The answer, most often, began with a pause--some tears, another pause--then, the answer. Several of the participants had to stop and apologize because none of them had planned on dropping out of school; from their perspective it just happened. When asked the question one of the participants, DP1, replied, "This is really touching to me...I let myself down.". [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida