1/2 of Oregon’s HS Seniors Drop Out

Among the 7,034 Oregon students who dropped out of school during 2007-08 or over the following summer, nearly half made it to senior year before they quit, the state reported this morning.

New figures from the Oregon Department of Education show that 3,238 students dropped out during their senior year, including 536 who stuck it out through their entire senior year but didn’t earn enough credits to get a diploma.

Overall, 3.7 percent of Oregon high school students dropped out during the year, the lowest rate recorded since the state began tracking dropouts.

Nearly 36,000 students graduated in Oregon’s class of 2008, the state reported.

We have data that this is in keeping with the national data. Of the total of all high school dropouts 16.6% dropout in the senior year. In other words they are saying, with 9 months or fewer, it doesn’t pay for us to stick around.

There may be a number of different reasons why this is true. The students who dropout may be aware that they lack the necessary number of credits for them to graduate. Some drop out in order to pursue other alternatives, i.e., go to work, join the military, or go to college without a high school diploma. Others may drop out because of boredom. The Gates Foundation report, The Silent Epidemic, stated that the major reason that students dropout is because of boredom.

Schools have made major investments in the education of high school seniors. It is imperative that they determine why students drop out in the senior year and address the issue. I suggest that schools/districts look into the Georgia Department of Education’s Graduation Coaches and benchmark that effort.