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Which students give up on high school first?


The National Center for Education Statistics is providing updated snapshots of U.S. students through data from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of more than 23,000 ninth-graders in 2009.

The latest data set provides a snapshot of  these “early high school dropouts,” those who dropped out of school between ninth and eleventh grade without earning a high school diploma or any alternative credential such as a GED.

Key findings include:

  • Between 2009 and 2012, some 2.7 percent of males and 2.6 percent of females had dropped out, a difference that is not statistically significant.
  •  Asian students dropped out at the lowest rate (0.3 percent), compared with White (2.1 percent), Black (4.3 percent), and Hispanic (3.5 percent) students.
  • Nearly 5 percent (4.7 percent) of students whose family socioeconomic status was in the lowest 20 percent had dropped out, compared with 0.6 percent of their peers in the highest 20 percent.


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.