Despite what seems like endless forms to fill out and paperwork to complete, schools don’t seem able to keep track of students. A new report reveals that the drop-out rate for California students is almost twice as high as had been thought. Figures are difficult to tally because there are some legitimate ways for students to disappear from schools–they start homeschooling or they move to another state–but the truth seems to be that about 25% of high school students in California do not receive a diploma. This figure represents thousands of individuals who will almost certainly be disadvantaged in the job market for the rest of their lives. Their chances of earning a decent income, living a comfortable life and raising a family are low. They can’t all depend on winning a lottery to make them rich. One of the most disturbing factors in this picture is that African American and Latino students are more likely to drop out of school than are members of other ethnic groups. Teachers have been aware of these trends for years but now we have more reliable documentation. This is indeed a crisis and the community should take action to see it does not continue.
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