Experts Predict A Big Increase In High School Dropouts Is On The Horizon


September 23, 2020

Since 2011, the four-year high school graduation rate has been inching steadily upward, growing from 79% to 85% in 2018. But experts fear that 2020 could sharply reverse this trendline.

Education leaders are predicting a sizable increase in the number of high school dropouts during the 2020-2021 school year. With more than half of school districts using hybrid or remote models, they fear struggling students will disengage from their school systems without a fully in-person option. Amid an economic crisis with high unemployment rates, more teachers report that their students are opting to work hourly jobs to help support their families. Others are taking care of siblings in lieu of stable childcare. Compounding these issues is the fact that many students still lack access to the appropriate technology to complete online schooling.

Earlier this month, a national coalition of education and civic groups, including the National League of Cities and the American Institutes for Research, met to discuss strategies for reengaging students and work to get a handle on the numbers of new dropouts the country could be facing. They discussed fears that this group of students has not received adequate attention.


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