The School Dropout Dilemma

Posted by Janet Heinsler on March 02, 2015

It has been estimated that 1.3 million high school students drop out of school each year. Most of us don’t ever think this will be a problem for our kids but the truth of the matter is that 1 in every five students between the 10th and 12th grade will drop out. This is a problem for both the parent and teen for many obvious reasons.

One of these reasons is that high school dropouts make $260,000 less than their counterpart who has graduated. Not only will they make less but they are usually less happy because they more often than not are stuck in a dead end job. Why do teens drop out?

Parent Engagement

It was found in a study of over 5,000 dropouts that 75% of them dropped out because of lack of parental support. They cited that they did not receive enough encouragement from their parents. It has been shown that if the parents that are involved in a child’s education from early on then the child will be less likely to drop out. Children of parents who expressed the importance of education and helped their child with their support were more likely to stay in school.

Lack of Interest

This is probably the biggest reason that kids drop out of high school. Out of 10,000 students who dropped out, 7,000 reported that they dropped out because school was boring. Many attribute this to the generic course offerings of many high schools that don’t hold the interest of the child.

Academic Performance

As one would expect those students who do poorer in school are more likely to give up on school. Past research has shown that after third grade you should be reading to learn, not learning to read, and that how you do in middle school will determine how you do in high school and whether you will drop out.

Health Issues

There are a number of health and wellness factors that will determine if a student stays in school. These include whether the student gets pregnant, are they using drugs and alcohol, whether they have any special needs such as ADHD or dyslexia, and are they depressed or have a physical illness, or are they being abused in some manner.

Alternative Lifestyle

Some students through reading, peer pressure or just on their own come up with this idea that they want to live an alternative lifestyle where education is not necessary.

Family Economy

Many kids drop out of school to work and help support their family. Studies have shown that more students from a lower socio-economic status will drop out to work than those from an upper class home. In addition students working over 20 hours a week were more likely to drop out.

The best thing for a parent to do is be aware of what may turn your child off of school and work on it with them so that they may stay in school and get their degree.