The so-called "dropout crisis" in the nation's schools doesn't really exist, argued Lawrence Mishel in a recent Education Week Commentary. Countering research and data generated mostly by education researchers Jay P. Greene and Marcus Winters of the Manhattan Institute and Chris Swanson of the EPE Research Center, Mishel argues that, in fact, national economic data indicate that high school graduation ratesfor both blacks and whiteshave actually been improving.
In their strongly worded response, Greene, Winters, and Swanson defend their reliance on Department of Education data for calculating the troubling dropout rate. The economic data that Mishel recommends, they argue, are inappropriate and incomplete indicators of dropout trends.
What do you think? Are high school dropout rates in the United States largely exaggerated? Or are researchers correct in suggesting that dropout rates are unacceptably high?