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High School Dropouts
High School Dropouts
High School Dropout
Students dropping out of high school is a major problem facing America today. Millions of young people are dropouts without a high school diploma (Schwartz). Nearly half a million students are dropping out each year (Schwartz). The dropout rate is declining a little each year, yet it is still a severe problem facing America. A large portion of dropouts happen before the tenth grade (Schwartz). The main causes of school dropouts are personal factors, home and school stability, school experiences, social behavior, and rebellion.
Personal problems affecting students seem to be the main cause for students to drop out of high school. Children seem to be the main personal problem facing dropout students, especially in women. Close to half of the dropouts students, both male and female, have children or are expecting one (Schwartz). Marriage is another great personal factor to the dropout rate. Marriage is a very stressful factor to any student. This stress could and does send many students to the point where they have too much to deal with. School becomes a second priority and is often discarded to lighten the load married couples deal with. Most of dropouts are married. Jobs also increase the percentage of students dropping out of school. Some students may and do have to take on a job to support themselves or their family. The job may interfere with school hours, school homework, and/or school activities. Drug problems are very serious and have major side effects students. This serious problem causes many students to drop out of school. They do this to either to help their drug addiction or to get a handle on their problem. Students in broken homes are more than twice as likely to drop out of school than those with families intact (Schwartz). This is so because of the fact that this is another stressful matter these young minds must also deal with.
Home and school stability is another cause to for students dropping out of high school. More than half of dropouts have moved within their four years of being in high school (Schwartz). If a student does not have a stable home or a stable school life, then they are more likely to drop out of school. Stableness allows the student to feel comfortable enough to try to work at school. If they have a stable home and school life, then that is one less worry for them. This allows them to concentrate on staying in school instead. The more stable a situation is, the more comfortable the student becomes with the surroundings, the better they get along with teachers and students, and the easier it is for the to fit in and work hard at school.
Bad school experiences are also a large contributor for the school dropout rate. A large majority of dropout students were only taking the bare minimum general high school requirements. This is because no one pushed them to try harder. This made students feel that school was not important enough to try hard at. These students then do not even care because they do not think school is important. These students also said they did not have much attention given to them when dealing with their schoolwork. This also emphasized that school was not important. A large majority of dropout students were held back a grade at least once in school life. This made those students feel as if they were not as smart as the other students, so why even bother.
Social behavior is another cause for students dropping out of high school. Most students who dropped out of school did not like school to begin with. These students were failing as it was. They could not keep up with their schoolwork. They did not get along with their teachers and/or other students. They may have had disciplinary problems. A great portion of dropout students were suspended at one time or another. Frequently absent students also make them more likely to drop out. A good deal of dropout students had even been previously arrested. This is because high school dropouts tended to believe they have no control over their own lives. Some students did not feel like they fitted in or they may have felt unsafe. At this time in a students life school is the most awkward place to be. Students will stay away from it if they can help it. They will use any tactic including dropping out.
There is also the rebellion factor. Rebellion is a very big cause of students dropping out of school. To some students, school is a place where their parents force them to go every weekday. These students feel like the teachers make the sit down and listen to lecture after lecture. They also feel like they do not learn to think but rather to only listen and repeat. This is where the rebellion factor comes into play. Those students do not wish to be asked to repeat something, but rather listen, think, and say their thoughts feelings and views. These students do not want to be told when they can and cannot have a personal opinion on a topic. These students rebel because they feel that they do not have a choice. If they speak up they think they will be considered a problem child. If they quietly sit in the back they feel they are going against their own selves. Those students drop out of school to find the world. They leave school to be open-minded. Not all students are like this but there are a few who are. If only those students could be redirected to something useful in the school then they might not drop out.
The high school dropout rate is reducing. It is still, however, a major concern that should worked on. The home and school stability, bad school experiences, social behavior, and rebellion all have one main effect: increasion of the nation dropout rate of high school students in the United States. With half a million people dropping out of school each year, these key causes need to be looked at and examined closely. If these causes are worked at, maybe the effect will not be has high as it is now.
Schwartz, Wendy. “School Dropout: New Information About an Old Problem.” National Center
For Education Statistics. 1995. *http://eric-web.tc.columbia.edu/digests/dig109.html*.
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