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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Dropout Rates 2000 - 2001

Introduction

This report provides information on students who dropped out of Massachusetts public schools during the 2000-01 reporting year (July 1, 2000, to June 30, 2001). Dropouts are defined as students in grades nine through twelve who leave school prior to graduation for reasons other than transfer to another school. The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reports a dropout measure that was developed by the U.S. Department of Education. According to this measure:

A dropout is defined as a student in grade nine through twelve who leaves school prior to graduation for reasons other than transfer to another school and does not re-enroll before the following October 1.

The dropout rate is the number of students who drop out over a one-year period, from July 1 to June 30, minus the number of returned dropouts, divided by the October 1 enrollment.

students who drop out during a particular reporting year, but return to school by October 1 of the following year, referred to in this report as returned dropouts, are not counted as dropouts. The dropout rate is the number of students who drop out over a one-year period, from July 1 to June 30, minus the number of returned dropouts, divided by the October 1 enrollment. This measure will eventually be adopted by all states, allowing for comparisons between states and with the national average.

Analysis of Dropout Rates

During the 2000-01 reporting year, a total of 9,380 ninth- through twelfth-graders dropped out of Massachusetts public schools and did not return to school by October 1, 2001. These students represented 3.5 percent of the 271,700 students enrolled in grades nine through twelve in the state's public schools on October 1, 2000. The 2000-01 annual dropout rate of 3.5 percent remained the same from the 1999-2000 reporting year.

In addition to the 9,380 dropouts, another 1,598 students dropped out of school during the 2000-01 reporting year and were not in school at the end of the year but returned to school by October 1, 2001. These students, referred to in this report as returned dropouts, represented 14.6 percent of the total number of students who dropped out during the 2000-01 school year. The Department does not collect information on students who drop out of school in a reported year but return before the end of the same school year.

Based on the annual dropout rate for each grade level, it is projected that 13 percent of the students who entered ninth grade in the 2000-01 reporting year will have dropped out by the end of their senior year in 2004. This statistic, known as the projected four-year dropout rate, is an estimation of the cumulative effect of four years of students dropping out of school for the class of 2004. The projected four-year dropout rate of 13 percent for the class of 2004 is the same as the projected rate for the class of 2003.

The statewide dropout rate masks the wide disparity in individual school rates and the persistently high rates at some schools. Among individual schools the dropout rate ranged from a low of zero percent to a high of 50 percent . Sixteen schools reported no dropouts in 2000-01 and another 67 schools reported dropout rates of one percent or less. Twenty-one schools reported dropout rates greater than ten percent. These 21 schools comprised 4.9 percent of the state's grade nine through twelve enrollment, but accounted for 20.7 percent of the state's dropouts.



Table 1. Dropout Rates: 2000-2001
 EnrollmentNumber of
Dropouts
Annual
Rate
Projected
Four-year
Rate*
Returns as %
of Dropouts**
271,7009,3803.5%--14.6%
 Grade 1069,4472,4193.5%--14.6%
 Grade 1164,6892,5804.0%--14.7%
 Grade 1257,9941,7693.1%--15.7%
 Male133,7785,4794.1%15%17.7%
 Female137,9223,9012.8%11%16.7%
 African-American23,3461,4216.1%22%12.0%
 Asian12,3234823.9%15%20.1%
 Hispanic26,0952,0798.0%28%13.2%
 Native American711233.2%12%11.5%
 White 209,2255,3752.6%10%15.2%
33,1821,0813.3%13%13.9%
 City/Town8,3955686.8%24%15.0%
 Regional/County/Independent24,787 513 2.1%8%12.6%
* Percentage of ninth graders (class of 2004) projected to drop out over a four-year period
** Percentage of 2000-01 dropouts who returned to school by October 1, 2001
*** Figures do not include vocational-technical students enrolled in comprehensive high schools


Table 2. Annual Dropout Rates: 1997-2001
 1996-971997-981998-991999-00 2000-01
3.4%3.4%3.6%3.5%3.5%
8,4538,5829,1889,1999,380
246,757252,633258,026265,795271,700
 Grade 92.8%2.7%3.1%3.1%3.3%
 Grade 103.8%3.6%3.8%3.7%3.5%
 Grade 114.0%4.2%4.3%3.9%4.0%
 Grade 123.2%3.3%3.1%3.1%3.1%
 Male3.9%3.9%4.0%4.0%4.1%
 Female3.0%2.9%3.1%2.9%2.8%
 African-American5.6%6.1%6.7%6.1%6.1%
 Asian2.7%3.5%3.6%4.0%3.9%
 Hispanic8.2%8.2%9.8%8.2%8.0%
 Native American6.0%5.3%4.0%4.2%3.2%
 White2.7%2.6%2.5%2.6%2.6%
3.2%2.9%2.9%3.2%3.3%
 City/Town6.1%4.9%4.9% 5.5%6.8%
 Regional/County/Independent2.6%2.4%2.4% 2.6%2.1%
* Figures do not include vocational-technical students enrolled in comprehensive high schools


Table 3. Projected Four-Year Dropout Rates: Class of 2000-2004
 Class of
2000
Class of
2001
Class of
2002
Class of
2003
Class of
2004
13%13%14%13%13%
 Male15%15%15%15%15%
 Female11%11%12%11%11%
 African-American21%22%24%22%22%
 Asian11%13%14%15%15%
 Hispanic28%29%33%29%28%
 Native American23%21%17%16%12%
 White10%10%10%10%10%
13%12%12%13%13%
 City/Town22%19%19%21%24%
 Regional/County/Independent10%10%9%14%8%
* Figures do not include vocational-technical students enrolled in comprehensive high schools


Table 4. Distribution of Annual Dropout Rates: 1998-2001
 Number and Percent of Schools*
Annual Rate (%)1997-981998-991999-20002000-01
 #%#%#%#%
0134196186165
0.1 - 1.06922632067216721
1.1 - 2.589299330103329229
2.6 - 5.09330832672239329
5.1 - 7.52682893010217
7.6 - 10.0721249393
10.1 and above145196186217
Total Number of Schools302 311 317 319 
*Excludes schools with enrollments fewer than 75. Percent of schools may not total to 100 percent due to rounding.




Last Updated: August 1, 2002
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