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The policy research on "dropping out"

Page history last edited by pjk426@mail.harvard.edu 14 years, 6 months ago


     Today, about two-thirds of all students and approximately half of all Blacks, Latinos and Native Americans who begin ninth grade actually graduate with regular high school diplomas four years later (Orfield, 2004, p.1).  Replete with substantial disparities across racial, ethnic, income and geographic areas, America is experiencing a high school drop out crisis that has been a long time coming (“Left behind”, 2009).  According to the Center for Labor Market Studies (2009), nearly 16% of youth between the ages of 16 and 24 left high school without a regular diploma by 2007, leaving young Black and Latino males most negatively affected.   The effects of these high dropout rates are far, wide, and devastating to the social and economic vitality of our country (Orfield, 2004, p.1).  Until recently little attention and resource have been given to this silent epidemic.  In 2001, with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), Congress took an initial step in recognizing the expanse of the dropout problem by including graduation rate accountability provisions.  Prior to NCLB, graduation rates were not part of the formal accountability systems in most states.  Nevertheless, as Orfield (2004) argues, “because of misleading and inaccurate reporting of dropout and graduation rates, the public remains largely unaware of this educational and civil rights issue” (p.1).


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