Also in the WAMU 88.5's American Graduate Series series
The Impacts Of The High School Dropout Crisis
With so much at stake, D.C. works to provide a second chance at graduation for dropouts.
Bridging The Gap Between Home And School
Preventing dropouts requires teachers and staff to get parents more involved
Scaling Up Solutions To The Dropout Problem
Program applies successful Johns Hopkins model to D.C. schools and beyond
Battling Homelessness, Crime On The Path To Graduation
Despite odds stacked against them, two students strive to finish school
Fighting the Odds: Inside D.C.’s Dropout Crisis
In a special production by WAMU 88.5 News, we focus on a singularly important topic in Washington, D.C. – the large number of students who drop out of school.
Why Kids Drop Out: Identifying The Early Warning Signs
Teachers work to catch risk factors and help their students stay in school
Breaking The Cycle When Dropping Out Runs In The Family
Two women reflect on four generations that haven't finished high school
A few months ago, when we asked a random sampling of D.C. residents about the dropout rate of District public school students, their guesses actually weren’t that far off. Many of them guessed that 70-80 percent of students graduate; the actual official graduation rate for 2009-2010 hovered around 76 percent.
That number was not exactly a true picture of what was going on, however; and the 2010-2011 graduation numbers prove it. D.C.'s graduation rate for the most recent school year had dropped to 59 percent.
That means just a little more than half of all D.C. public school children are graduating with high school diplomas in four years. Even more striking is the difference between traditional and charter schools; 80 percent of charter school students graduated in 2011, but just 53 percent of students at traditional schools did the same.
New calculation has widespread impacts
Read the full transcript