- from the California Dropout Research Project report on Los Angeles — bearing in mind the the Superintendent proposes to eliminate LAUSD’s dropout prevention program:
- “Even if half of the city’s dropouts eventually complete high school, the remaining half will cost the Los Angeles community $2.1 billion over their lifetimes.
- “Reducing the number of dropouts by half would generate $1 billion in economic benefits to the community.
- “It would also result in 3,659 fewer murders and aggravated assaults each year.”
- smf’s 2¢ worth o’ statistical analysis – Counting dropouts is like counting the homeless: no one agrees on who they are or how how to count them or whom they belong to; everyone agrees that there are too many …some contend that one is too many! ¶ This study presumes to assign a dollar value to the dropout problem: OMG call out the uh-oh squad; the sky is falling! ¶ THE FIRST AND SECOND Bullets (above) actually represent an annual (not a lifetime) cost – there is a repeated pattern of drop outs dropping out annually. ¶ I have doubts about some of the statistics in this study because they appear to apply LAUSD data to the City of LA – the city is a subset of the school district. ¶ However (there always is a however…) the fix is not to argue about the value this study assigns to the problem, or size of its universe. The fix is to stop presuming+repeating the pattern and start keeping kids in school – and finding the ones who’ve dropped out and bring them back in. ¶ Eliminating the Dropout Prevention Program is like throwing gasoline on the fire. ¶ While we are crunching numbers: • How many kids are dropouts? – and how much does that cost the District in lost ADA? (using the CDRP data, the District conservatively lost $86,569,000 in ‘07) ¶ Finally: Dropping out of school before one graduates or becomes 18 is against the law.
April 9, 2009 -- More than a quarter of California youngsters attending seventh grade classes in 2001-02 failed to graduate from high school in 2007, and in one major community dropouts outnumbered graduates, according to a new statistical study by the California Dropout Research Project, based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The state's 480,595 seventh-graders had shrunken to 356,641 high school graduates, the UCSB researchers found. The numbers are similar to those of other dropout research projects, but UCSB's team went further, ascribing economic losses and violent crimes to the dropout phenomenon.
The project asserts that California will see $24.2 billion in economic losses, both lower wages and higher government and crime costs, from that one class's dropouts and will also experience some 28,000 more violent crimes.
In addition to computing dropout rates for the state, UCSB's data miners calculated them for 17 cities, including all of the largest ones, and found wide variances. Stockton easily had the highest dropout rate, with dropouts outnumbering graduates, 2,775 to 2,695. But Los Angeles wasn't far behind, with a 48 percent dropout rate.
The state and local dropout numbers are available here.