How Many Dropouts Are There?

It depends on who counts and how they count!

Tulsa World ( in an article by education reporter Andrea Eger, reported that the state of Oklahoma didn’t report “more than 1,000 state dropouts because of the way the agency defines its dropout rate. Many of these dropouts are exiting the classroom before they even reach high school.” The state doesn’t include them if the student hasn’t reached the ninth grade or is 19 years or older.

We need a national dropout measure. Many states do not report students who dropout of middle school. Some states only count those who dropout in the senior year. Some states report students who are in prison as dropouts while others do not.

Educators and researchers are aware that the largest group of students who dropout are transitional students — those students who are transferring from middle to high school (from the 8th or 9th grade to high school). Until we start accurately reporting who drops out and when we will continue to have schools and district “fudge’ the data.