Every 26 seconds one of our kids drops out of high school — that's 1.3 million students each year. On average, only 72% of America's children graduate from high school.
In Washington, DC, the official graduation rate is 59%, although that number varies widely by school. It dropped considerably in 2010-2011 when DC began using the new standardized method mandated by the federal government. Nationally and locally, the numbers for Latino and African American kids are even lower, and for minority males the number has been consistently near or below 50%.
The economic impact of children dropping out of high school amounts to nearly 350 billion dollars over their lifetimes in lost wages, productivity, and taxes. The median income for a high school dropout is $12,000 a year — compared with $22,000 (on average) for young adults with a high school diploma. Beyond these numbers are the devastating social effects of low literacy and poor academic skills on the physical, cultural, and civic health of our communities and our country.
Take a look at the media stories, research, and reports in this section to learn more about the dropout crisis in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. — and what's being done to keep our kids in school and on the path to graduation and successful lives. For a brief overview of the dropout issue and prevention programs that work, read the two articles below.