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New York City’s Disappearing Students

As I see it, there are three kinds of dropouts:
the Physical dropout – these are students who physically leave school. Most often this happens in high school (i.e. the high school dropout). But educators know that the transitional student, going from middle or junior high school is the highest rate. Frequently these students are going from the 8th to 9th grade and are not counted.
the Psychological dropout – these children are in school but if you look into their eyes, you see that they are a million miles away. Frequently these students are bored. They form a large group that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have labeled as the major component of the “Silent Epidemic”.
the “Pushout” – these students are the ones that classroom teachers and principals do not want in their schools. Teachers say “I do not want you in my class” go see the principal. Principals say, “I do not want you in my school. Either go to an alternative school or drop out.”

According to a New York Times Article, published on April 30th, “Number of Students Leaving School Early Continues to Increase, Study Says” By JENNIFER MEDINA
“Almost six years after a lawsuit forced the city to pledge to keep better track of students who leave public schools without graduating, the number leaving high schools has continued to climb, according to a report to be released Thursday by the public advocate’s office.”

The report raises questions about why more than 20 percent of students from the class of 2007 were discharged — the term for students who leave the school system without graduating. Much of the increase has come from students who are discharged in the ninth grade, which has gone up to 7.5 percent for the class of 2007, but was 3.8 percent in 2000.

The Education Department has been sued several times for pushing out students who are struggling and are unlikely to graduate, a practice that can help raise the school’s test-score averages and graduation rates.

In 2003, the department began requiring all schools to interview students before they can transfer to other programs.

David Cantor, a spokesman for the City Education Department, said that while the increases were noteworthy, they reflected the fact that the student population often moves in and out of the city.

One of the most alarming trends, according to the report, is the number of ninth-grade students who are discharged.

The report also finds that far more black and Hispanic students are discharged than white and Asian students, and far more boys than girls.

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