KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief: Reducing the High School Dropout Rate

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

July 1, 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.

Table of Contents

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

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations