A new National Center for Education Statistics report suggests that some improvements in the percentages of students dropping out of the nation’s schools have slowed in recent years.
Drawing on several surveys and databases, the NCES report traces trends from 1972 to 2012 for an array of different dropout indicators: the event dropout rate, the status dropout rate, the status completion rate, and the adjusted cohort graduation rate.
For example, the event dropout rate, which estimates the percentage of students who left high school between the beginning of one school year and the next, is 3.4 percent—unchanged since 2009.
In 1972, the rate was 6.1 percent.
With another indicator, the status dropout rate, the NCES found in 2012 that there were 2.6 million Americans ages 16-24 who were not in a public or private school and had not earned a diploma. This group comprised about 6.6 percent of this age group that year, down from 14.6 percent in 1972, and 9.3 percent in 2003.
A version of this article appeared in the July 08, 2015 edition of Education Week as Dropout Statistics