100% Graduation Rates

A “dropout factory” is a nickname given to schools with a student dropout rate of 40%. With 1,700 high schools (including vocational) classified as “dropout factories,” American’s are in crisis mode.Yearly, approximately half of the students that do not graduate high school come from about 12% of high schools.These “dropout factories” largely come from poor rural and urban areas.

According to Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, in her article: No Excuses: We Need 100 Percent High School Graduation, graduation rates in America are “crumbling at a disturbing rate.” She notes that 25% of all students not earning a high school diploma, and 60% of minority students do not finish high school. Dr. Bonilla-Santiago warns that if this trend continues that the American workforce will not be able to compete with the global economy. Initivatives that hope to acheive 90% graduation rates may be too low, as it gives students the message that a high school diploma is not a necessity.The article goes on to outline methods to lower, and even elimate student drop out rates, using techniques used at EAP Academy University Charter School in Camden, N.J., a school that had 8 classes with 100% graduation rates. It cites low self-confidence when it comes to learning, and lack of academic resources as some of the main reasons behind students dropping out.

I agree that a higher educated population is positive for society, and that we need to increase graduation rates. However, there complicated reasons behind why a student may drop out. A school may be able to address the majority of these reasons, but students are individual people with their own individual goals and ideas. A school can and should create an environment of learning and provide support, but only the individual student can choose to accept it.

Overall, 100% is a great goal for a school to have. That means that every student is engaged and able to succeed. However, not reaching an 100% mark should not imply that a school has failed.



10 thoughts on “100% Graduation Rates

  1. Hi Nathalie,

    I really enjoyed your post. I agree that 100% graduation should always be the goal. However, it is extremely optimistic given all the information you posted. I highly recommend that you watch “Waiting for Superman” which is a documentary about the success of charter schools. It is available on Netflix. Enjoy.

  2. I agree with your opinion regarding dropping out from school and college in particular. Each and every person has their own reason as to why they are not attending school whether it is personal or non-personal. I believe that everything happens for a reason. Things and different life circumstances occur everyday. I personally love your goal and I feel that if that was made into a law it would probably be effective and work out. This is a great thing and your info supports your opinion which is quite awesome.

  3. I love the image you chose to represent this topic and i agree that 100 percent graduation is great goal for schools to have and that though a school may create an environment of support and learning but in the end the student has to choose to accept it. This is true because you can’t force somebody to do something they do not want to do. This is why I believe that the goal on how to reach 100 percent graduation must include some kind of strategy on how to keep students stimulated and motivated to learn. Students need to know the significance in what they are learning and how it benefits them even outside of school. Also what you stated about not reaching the 100 percent goal does not mean the school fail is true and i agree

  4. Hey Nathalie,

    I like how you gave a lot of information and statistics on your post. This is an alarming “trend” that is occurring across the U.S. and one that will very much impact all of us. Society needs to try to find ways to improve graduation rates instead of focusing on the fact that it’s not being done. Unfortunately, like you said, there are many reasons why a student may drop out of school, more should be done (as educators and school staff) to become more involved to a certain extent in students lives to prevent this downward spiral. =) Great and interesting post=) (A bit sad too).

  5. Hey Nat,

    I’ll start by, I dig your blog. I can agree with your standpoints in your blog especially about the several other contributing factors of dropping out. You know lower income neighborhoods have the tendency of having more drop out rates because and more students in work mode? I bet you knew that already, but isn’t that insane? I feel like we’re all just forced into maturity and youth is really limited. By the way, when you stated that there is “low self-confidence when it comes to learning, and lack of academic resources as some of the main reasons behind students dropping out.” I couldn’t argue that. Support is essential in the learning process otherwise we’de all just second guess ourselves.

    best, Rey Awesome

  6. I enjoyed your post and agree that their is sometimes an underlying reason as to why students are dropping out of school. By the Board of Education and Government digging deeper and finding out why students are so eager to dropout then to graduate that maybe a step to decreasing the dropout rate. I think that students tend to lose focus along the way and need to be guided back on the right path of success. Problems can vary from low self-esteem and home life issues.

  7. I’m going to throw a little grenade on the need for 100% graduation rate, not because it isn’t an admirable goal, but because I think high school doesn’t likely work for many, many people. And a think part of this has to do with the emphasis on standardized testing and the corresponding teaching to tests. The schools feel like they must teach to the test so students pass rates will increase so then the school can continue to exist and not be considered a ‘dropout factory.’

    Is test preparation what every student needs? Yes the test is supposed reflect valuable skills but do they always? And are we able to choose as teachers which skills we think are best for our students?

    I think the big crisis mentality makes this such an intractable problem, looking for tons of data based on very narrow metrics for solutions.

  8. why is the graduation rate becoming lower and lower. this is sad society is struggling so they have in place more obstacles to obtain your education which will exclude many people from certain jobs. this is not fair especially if those people want to continue school but are affected by other distractions

  9. @ professor Smith ,given Mr bllombergs budget cuts it is not much assesment tools which will test students in practical knowledge in a curriculum. Just with the fire fighter examination studies will have to be done if a new style of testing is implemented to make sure it is not bias against a particular race of people.

  10. This topic triggers a vast amount of emotions for my family because I was the first in my family and extended family to graduate high school. I would not be surprised if many of you relate to this. It is possible with the right and adequate support from teachers, but parents as well. Although there are other individuals that make part in this percentage of dropouts the truth is majority of dropouts come from immigrant families, who come here looking for a better life.

    There are vast amount of unique cases and we are unaware of things like financial, domestic, cultural, etc,. When I was growing up both my parents would work long hours to make ends meet. I was always encouraged and informed that I had to graduate from college to have a good paying job.

    I believe the goal should be college diploma, but of course a high school diploma is most essential for this next endeavor. Although it seems very far-fetched, but achievable I agree with you, Natalie it should not mean that the “not reaching an 100% mark should not imply that a school has failed.”

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