High School Dropouts

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Since 2014, the racial diversity in United States public schools has been at an all time high, with students of color outnumbering their white peers. Although minority populations enrolled in public schools has increased, resulting in the acceleration of graduation rates for historically disadvantaged groups like African-Americans and Latinos, school systems continue to fail to foster the academic success of Native Americans and properly encourage them to obtain their high school diplomas. The graduation rates of Native Americans exemplify this inadequacy of the school system, as graduation rates have been on a downward trend since 2008, according the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center (Maxwell). In the seven states with the highest…show more content…
As Table 2 depicts, the disparity in unemployment rates between high school graduates and dropouts, reaching a apex of 26.7% during the 2009 recession, has continued to place the advantage upon the high school graduate. In 2016, 31.9% of high school dropouts remained jobless, while their peers who possessed high school diplomas maintained a relatively low unemployment rate of 13.1%. Furthermore, one-third of adults lacking a high school diploma lived below the poverty line in 2011, while less than 20% of high school graduates suffer under the same conditions (Youth Indicators 2011; America). In addition, the average dropout will cost taxpayers an average of $292,000 over a lifetime due to costs of providing food stamps and other aid to dropouts and of incarcerating those who turn to crime. (Breslow). In addition, high school dropouts are six times more likely to be incarcerated (Dillon). Marc H. Morial, president of the National Urban League and former New Orleans mayor, portrays the dropout rate’s influence in increasing the U.S. prison populations as “a drag on America’s economic competitiveness,” (Dillon). Thus, the socio-economic implications of low Native graduation rates impairs their success for the rest of their…show more content…
According to Figure 3, Native students, only representing 0.5% of the public school population, receive 2% of the school suspension while White students, representing 51% of the enrolled public school students, received a mere 36% of suspensions (School Climate and Discipline: Know the Data). Increased suspension rates among Native American students not only cripples individual academic performance but also explains the discrepancy in graduation rates of Native American students compared to students of all other ethnicities. High school students regardless of ethnicity suffer a propensity to fail to obtain their high school diplomas due to the zero tolerance policies venerated by schools. In fact, one national longitudinal study found that youth with a prior suspension were 68 percent more likely to drop out of school (A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools). Thus, the plague of zero tolerance policies seemingly pushes Native American students out of the school system. Because suspension severely disrupts a student’s academic progress, Native students encounter feelings of dereliction and isolation from the school system. Under these circumstances of injustice, Native students, consciously understanding that lacking a high school diploma remains the
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