Education Chart(s) of the Day: The Bigger Dropout Problem
March 13, 2015
Did you know the college dropout problem is worse than the high school dropout problem?
The high school dropout rate has improved markedly since schools, school districts, and to a lesser extent states, started to be held more publicly accountable for results. Between 2006 and 2012, the high school graduation rate improved from 73 percent to 81 percent. That improvement is a reflection of work that began before 2006. After all, it takes 13 years for a single cohort of students to go from Kindergarten through Grade 12.
Less known might be that well over 70 percent of high school graduates go on to pursue postsecondary education within two years of leaving high school. Even if they may not go right away or they may go to a community college or a for-profit trade school, they go. But all too many leave with big debt and no degree. The college dropout rate is over 50 percent.
A white child is nearly twice as likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree by age 29 as a black child. A child born to a family in the top income quartile is over three times more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree within eight years of high school graduation than a child born in the bottom income quartile.
So for those politicians on the left and right who decry income inequality, we’ve got a question. When we’re at a time in history where now more than ever ‘what you earn, depends on how much you learn,’ what are you doing to close the education achievement gap in K-12 and in higher education?
Because the cause endures beyond just a high school degree.
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