Why Students Drop Out-Article Notes by Bradshaw/Gillies

Dr. McHatton Presentation 4/6/09

Notes on Assigned Article:  Why Students Drop Out


     This article summarizes the findings from a study that examined the views of diverse students, aged 16-25, who dropped out of high school.  Being that 50% of black and Hispanic students in the U.S. fail to graduate, this study asked students why they left school: 

            1)  47% of students reported boredom with school

            2)  43% of students reported missing too many days and could not catch up

            3)  42% reported spending time with people who were disinterested in school

            4)  38% said they had too much freedom and not enough rules

            5)  35% of students reported they were failing in school


Participants also gave personal reasons for dropping out including needing to get a job, becoming a parent, and having to take care of their family.  Participants felt unprepared for high school; 45% reported the failure of earlier schooling to get them ready for later grades.

     Participants in this study felt regret for their decision to drop out of school and gave suggestions for actions that schools could take to prevent others from doing the same:

            1)  provide more engaging, experiential learning that clearly shows the connection

                 between school and the real-world

            2)  provide better instruction and support for students who are struggling; better

                 teachers, small class sizes, individualized instruction, tutoring, extra time

            3)  improve school climate with more supervision of students, more effective

                 discipline, and protection from violence

4)  provide opportunities for students to develop trusting relationships with adults

     in school

            5) improve communication between schools and families 

     Other needs to effectively combat the problem of students dropping out are to develop early warning systems to track absenteeism, to identify students at risk so more support can be provided, raise the legal dropout age to 18, provide incentives to increase graduation rates, and teach schools best practices to implement in their dropout prevention programs.  



One response to “Why Students Drop Out-Article Notes by Bradshaw/Gillies

  1. Re: 47% of Black and Hispanic children report boredom as their reason for dropping out of highschool

    What happens when there are real-world connections to the information yet the children are still bored? Teachers are competing with non-stop cable television, videogames, cell phones etc. Shouldn’t children be trained that some things are not fun but necessary. You could be bored doing just about anything under the sun and beyond. Boredom does not only mean that something is too hard, too easy, or uninteresting. Boredom could also mean that the child has something that they would rather be doing. Many teachers accept this excuse, and children fail. This is an excuse not a reason!

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