The overall improvement in the state’s graduation rate suggests schools are doing a better job of preparing students for high school and identifying and assisting students who are at risk of dropping out. The hard truth, though, is that many students leave school for circumstances that have nothing to do with academics, including the need to financially contribute to their families or care for family members.
Policymakers and those who work with students day in and day out know there are no easy answers when it comes to dropouts. Still, the stakes are too high to slow down or stop the search for strategies to prevent students from dropping out or luring back to school those who left too soon. Every one of those students has a name and a story and a future every bit as important as those who leave school with a diploma in hand.