California’s high school dropout rate has been recalculated and the results are surprising.
For several years, California’s Department of Education has been reporting a high school dropout rate ranging between three and 13 percent. However, Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute says the rate has been recalculated and found to be roughly 25 percent. “About a quarter of the students in high school now are found to drop out statewide in California — and it’s even more in certain urban areas and among certain urban demographic groups,” he maintains.
Izumi admits the rate increase can be attributed to a number of reasons, but one is vital to those seeking change. “They don’t get adequate preparation for their high school studies by the time they go through elementary and middle school,” he points out.
According to Izumi, “the seeds of the dropout problem are sewn in earlier grades.” He contends that if children are not properly taught reading, arithmetic, and other “core” material by high school age, their chances of dropping out increase because “they can’t handle the material.”
The California figure is now close to the national average, and Izumi believes education experts seeking change should use charter, private, and home schooling as models.