12 Percent of U.S. High Schools Could Be Labeled a Dropout Factory

Oct 30, 2007

According to a new study, the nickname fits the 1,700 U.S. high schools that have graduation rates under 60 percent. The highest concentration of poorly performing schools is in Southern states like Florida and South Carolina.

1 in 10 Schools Have Too Many Dropouts

According to John Hopkins University analysis of Education Department Data, the U.S. has too many 'dropout factories'--schools where less than 60 percent of freshmen make it to their senior year.

Approximately 1,700 U.S. high schools (12 percent) fit the description. Most of the schools are located in large cities or poverty stricken rural areas, but they are definitely scattered across the U.S.

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Dropout Factories by State

State Percent of Schools
Alabama 15%
Alaska 17%
Arizona 17%
Arkansas 2%
California 12%
Colorado 9%
Connecticut 9%
Delaware 21%
Florida 51%
Georgia 39%
Hawaii 18%
Idaho 3%
Illinois 10%
Indiana 3%
Iowa 2%
Kansas 3%
Kentucky 13%
Louisiana 13%
Maine 1%
Maryland 7%
Massachusetts 8%
Michigan 13%
Minnesota 2%
Mississippi 23%
Missouri 4%
Montana 6%
Nebraska 3%
Nevada 44%
New Hampshire 4%
New Jersey 4%
New Mexico 27%
New York 15%
North Carolina 23%
North Dakota 4%
Ohio 10%
Oklahoma 6%
Oregon 1%
Pennsylvania 8%
Rhode Island 13%
South Carolina 52%
South Dakota 1%
Tennessee 14%
Texas 18%
Utah 0%
Vermont 2%
Virginia 8%
Washington 8%
West Virginia 4%
Wisconsin 5%
Wyoming 4%

Source: Associated Press

At least 20 percent of the schools in eight different states have graduation rates less than 60 percent. South Carolina and Florida have the highest percentages--more than 50 percent of the schools in each one of these states were labeled dropout factories by John Hopkins University. Utah is the only state without a dropout factory.

Nationally, the high school graduation rate is 70 percent, but for black and Hispanic students, the rate is only 50 percent. Of the 70 percent of U.S. who do graduate high school, only 32 percent will be college ready according to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

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