KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief: Reducing the High School Dropout Rate

Posted July 1, 2009
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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AECF KC High School Dropouts 2009


While a variety of methods are used to calculate the nation's high school dropout rate, the results are the same: a growing number of young people are leaving school without graduating, putting themselves behind those with high school diplomas in terms of securing a stable economic future for themselves and their families. This brief outlines five strategies for reducing the number of teens who drop out before graduating from high school.

Findings & Stats

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Key Takeaway

Dropout Prevention Happens Inside And Outside Schools

The costs of dropping out of high school have never been higher, with many studies indicating that those without a high school diploma struggle with earning enough to adequately provide for themselves and their families. To reduce the dropout rate, especially among the most vulnerable populations, a mix of school-based and community-based strategies should be employed. These include:

  • Bolstering school readiness
  • Develop policies and programs within schools to help students succeed
  • Address factors in the community that affect the likelihood of dropping out, especially for high risk groups
  • Support parents and other adults who influence teens' lives