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According to dropouts, why do they leave school?

Five hundred (500) 18-24 year old dropouts were asked why they left school:

  • 47% said classes were not interesting
  • 43% had missed too many classes to catch up
  • 45% said they were poorly prepared for high school when they were “promoted” from elementary and middle school
  • 69% said they were not motivated to work hard
  • 35% said they were failing
  • 32% left to get a job
  • 25% left to become parents
  • 22% left to take care of a relative
  • 66% said they would have tried harder if more were expected of them.

What are the implications to these answers?  The 15 effective strategies, which you can find on this website, indicate that the dropout problem does not begin in high school but high schools have a role by insuring that students are actively engaged in their learning (one of the 15 strategies) and that we need higher standards for all students.

In addition, for better or worse, schools are in competition with television, video games, movies and the internet for students’ attention.  We need to change the way we educate the students of the 21st century.

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