States

Is Texas Disguising Dropouts as Home-Schooled Students?

By Catherine Gewertz — May 11, 2010 1 min read

Texas has the unfortunate distinction of being home to one of the bigger dropout-rate scandals. (If you don’t remember, here‘s a little prod.) Now comes news that some are raising questions about whether thousands of students categorized as home-schooled are actually dropouts.

According to the Houston Chronicle, more than 22,000 high school students who disappeared from class in 2008 were not counted as dropouts because administrators said they were being taught at home. The population of home-schooled high school students in Texas has tripled in the last decade, and the state’s “lax documentation and hands-off practices make it impossible to know how many of these students are actually being taught at home,” according to the newspaper.

One expert tells the paper: “Schools are beginning to use the home-schooling designation as a way to encourage students to leave or indeed for some school districts to look like they have fewer dropouts.”

Ouch.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.