National statistics on the number of high school drop outs for 2008
Recent studies reported by the US Department of Education revealed nearly 1.2 million students between the ages of 15 and 24 dropped out of high school in one year alone. However, according to the US Department of Education, the true drop out rate for US teens is quite difficult to discern with out factoring in the number of reasons why teens drop out of high school.
These statistical findings suggest that 1 in every 5 students will drop out of high school between the 10th - 12th grade for one reason or another. Factoring in all the potential reasons for this extremely high ratio of drop outs verses graduates is quite complicated as researchers explain. For this reason we have narrowed down the top ten reasons that teens leave high school before graduation.
Statistically 55% of the nation's students between the ages of 15 and 19 will successfully complete high school and receive a high school diploma. Another 15% will receive their GED or high school equivalency before the age of 24, which in total accounts for 70% of students that will graduate annually. The remaining 30% of high school students will drop out of school before reaching the 12th grade.
According to the US Department of Education, there are ten significant markers of risk or reasons teens drop out of high school before graduating. Below are what USDOE discovered as the most common reasons teens drop out of high school.
10 Reasons Why Teens Drop Out of High School
1. Lack of Educational SupportStudies conducted on 5,000 high school drop outs revealed 75% dropped out of high school because they lack sufficient parental support and educational encouragement.
2. Outside InfluencesFriends and/or peer pressure from other high school drop outs, family or other outside relationships can impact a teen to drop out of school. This also encompasses teens who opt to drop out high school to join a gang or to be accepted in other teen groups and street communities.
3. Special NeedsThere are a number of teens dropping out high school because they require specific attention to a certain need such as ADHD or dyslexia. This is predominately among densely populated public high schools where the overcrowded classrooms fail to recognize the special needs of a specific student.
4. Financial ProblemsOften the family is in a very poor financial situation and in order to help the family financially is another reason why teens drop out of school. Teens in this case are forced to obtain employment to financially help the family, and in some cases the financial strain can be due to an unplanned pregnancy and/or parental disabilities.
5. Lack of InterestOne of the biggest reasons a teen will drop out of high school is because they simply lack interest in gaining an education. Out of 10,000 public high school drop outs, 7,000 of them confessed to their lack in interest to complete high school. Most often this is due to the generic course curriculums offered to public high school students, whereby a number of students simply become bored.
6. Drug and Alcohol AbuseDrugs and alcohol abuse is within the top 3 reasons students fail to complete their high school education. It goes without saying, that a teen on drugs will rarely complete high school.
7. Depression and Physical IllnessesDepression and illnesses can be the result of an eating disorder, heredity, family or financial situation that will contribute to the teen's lack of interest in school or class subjects and and is common reason why teens drop out of school.
8. Physical AbuseTeens that are victims of domestic violence such as physical, verbal and sexual abuse tend to drop out of high school before obtaining their high school diploma. In most cases a number of teens experiencing abuse will runaway from home, thus causing them to drop out.
9. Teen PregnancyIn the past, teen pregnancy accounted for 15% of the high school drop out rate among teens between the ages of 15 - 18. However, these numbers have sharply declined to about 4% on the average. A number of public schools have opted to reform the school to cater to pregnant teens. Some states have high schools specifically for pregnant teens and teen mothers to ensure they complete high school in an environment that does not judge them or discount the impact or signigicance of their circumstance.
10. Alternative LifestylesThis common reason teens drop out of high school is due to their perception of an alternative lifestyle in which education does not play an important role. A teen who is introduced to drug dealing and prostitution may view high school as a waste of time because they don't need an education to sell drugs or their bodies for that matter.
The bottom line for parents to help reduce the number of teen high school drop outs across the nation is to equip themselves and their teens with knowledge and alternative methods, such as going to a continuation or alternative school to receive their high school diploma and/or get their GED. It's simply not enough to tell your teen the importance of an education, but to also guide them into the right direction. Most important is maintaining communication so that you can discover your teen's risk of dropping out far enough in advance to really make a difference in the outcome.