KIDS COUNT Indicator Brief: Reducing the High School Dropout Rate

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Annie E. Casey Foundation

Living a successful, financially comfortable life is difficult for many Americans, but especially for high school dropouts. In 2007, there were 1.2 million dropouts in the U.S., according to a KIDS COUNT Data Center report. High school graduates on average earn about $400,000 more during their lifetimes than non-graduates. This brief, funded by the Annie E Casey Foundation, outlines five ways to reduce the high school dropout rate so students can learn the skills they need to sustain themselves in the world today.

The brief suggests adopting a long-term approach that begins with school readiness; enhancing the holding power of school, with emphasis on the ninth grade; focusing on the forces outside of school that contribute to high school students dropping out; addressing the needs of those who are at the highest risk of dropping out; and building on the skills and motivations of adults who affect teens’ motivation and ability to stay in school. Free, 16 pages., search for “indicator brief.”