Study: Texas School Attrition Down for Second Year

A new report from the Intercultural Development Research Association shows that the high school attrition rate in Texas is below 30 percent for the second year running, with 27 percent of freshmen students in 2007-08 having left school before graduating in 2010-11.

However, while encouraging, it still means one in four students are not graduating in Texas public schools, experts warn.

"Seeing the state's attrition going down is encouraging," said Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, IDRA president and CEO.

"And we have witnessed some exciting initiatives by schools and entire districts that are producing results."

"Still, Texas high schools have lost 3.1 million students in the last 26 years. So, we are concerned that – at this pace – we could lose as many as 2.8 million more students over the next 25 years," said Dr. Robledo Montecel.

The latest study from the IDRA has become available today. Attrition rates are a good barometer for a school's holding power, or the ability to keep students enrolled in school and learning until they graduate.

Key findings from this year's IDRA report include:

  • The statewide attrition rate was 27 percent for 2010-11.
  • Thirteen students per hour leave before graduating high school.
  • At this rate, Texas will not reach universal high school education for another quarter of a century in 2037.
  • Numerically, 110,804 students were lost from our public high schools in 2010-11.

The report also notes that racial-ethnic gaps are dramatically higher now than they were 26 years ago. Black students and Hispanic students are statistically about two times more likely to leave school without graduating with a diploma than White students.

"Our research and decades of experience show clearly that students are far more likely to succeed and graduate when they have the chance to work with highly qualified, committed teachers, using effective, accessible curricula, when schools partner with parents and communities, and when students themselves feel engaged," said Dr. Montecel.

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