The Drop Out Crisis

Nearly one million young people in the United States drop out of high school every year.
We asked some experts about it and this is what they said.

Dr. Rick Ayers Interview

Russlynn Ali Interview

Maria Su Interview

Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade Interview

Santianna Yellow Horse, Marcus Ruff, and Austin Big Crow Interview

Khary Lazarre-White and Pedro Noguera Interview

Jim Robert and Jeff Kass Interview

Chris Chatmon Interview

Hydra Mendoza Interview

Dr. Vajra Watson Interview

The Raise Up Project invites young people to share their stories, struggles, successes, and questions with each other and with the American population at large, including leaders in the educational reform movement.

Statistics clearly state that young people who do not graduate from high school face numerous obstacles throughout their lives, including increased rates of incarceration, shorter life spans, worse overall health, and less earning power than their peers with degrees. In addition to those statistics, however, we know the reasons young people leave school are complicated. Beyond statistics, we want to have a deep, nuanced conversation about why young people leave school, how they come back if they do, and what we’re all missing in the equation.

Here are some additional facts about the drop-out crisis from the American Graduate website:

  • For the first time, America is on track to meet the national goal of 90% graduation rate by 2020.
  • Even with these gains, America still loses about one out of five young people to the dropout crisis each year.
  • Every year, nearly one million school-aged children in the US do not graduate high school with their peers.
  • There are 11 states in which the graduation rate for white students is 89% or higher, but no state where this is true for African American, Hispanic or economically disadvantaged students.
  • On average, the graduation rate among African-American and Hispanic students is less than 69%.
  • Raising the graduation rate in 2011 to 90% would have increased the GDP by $6.6 billion.
  • High school graduates are more likely to be employed, make higher taxable incomes, and generate jobs than those without a high school diploma.
  • Graduates are less likely to engage in criminal behavior or receive social services.
  • Read the full report: The 2013 Annual Update of Building a Grad Nation - provides an analysis of the latest graduation rate data and a comprehensive review on efforts to accelerate student achievement from across the nation.
  • The Teacher Salary Project shows a map where teacher salary is being prioritized in The United States.

Check out these infographics from that help visualize drop-out crisis statistics