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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Dropout Rates in Massachusetts Public Schools: 2002-03

Returned Dropouts

Of all students who dropped out during the 2002-03 reporting year, 12.0 percent returned to school or graduated by October 1, 2003. These students are referred to as returned dropouts.

  • The percentage of returned dropouts varied by school. Of the 310 schools that had enrollment for any of the grades nine through twelve and had dropouts during the 2002-03 reporting year, a majority (89 percent) had 20 percent or less of their dropouts re-enroll in school or graduate by October 1, 2003.

  • Approximately 29 percent (89 schools) had none of their dropouts return to school or graduate by October 1, 2003. Five schools had all of their dropouts return to school.

Table 5. Returned Dropouts as a Percentage of All Dropouts, 2002-03*
Returned Dropouts Number of Schools Percent of Schools
0%8929
1-20%18760
21-40%248
41-60%52
61-80%00
81-99%00
100%52

* Table includes only those schools who had dropouts. Percent of schools may not total to 100 percent due to rounding.

The percentage of returned dropouts also varied among specific populations of students. In other words, certain student populations were more likely to return to school than others (see Table 1).

  • Grade In 2002-03, students in grade eleven (13.5 percent) were most likely to return to school, followed by grade nine and grade ten (12.4 percent each) and grade twelve (9.4 percent). The percentage of returned dropouts in grade twelve has dropped in the past three years from 15.7 percent in 2000-01 to 9.4 percent in 2002-03.

  • Gender Female dropouts were slightly more likely to return to school in 2002-03 than male dropouts were (12.4 percent compared to 11.8 percent, respectively). This reverses a trend from the past three years, during which time male dropouts were more likely to return.

  • Race/Ethnicity Hispanic students and African-American students who dropped out were more likely to return to school than students of other racial/ethnic backgrounds. Of the Hispanic students who dropped out, 15.1 percent returned to school. 12.9 percent of African-American students who dropped out returned to school. Asian students (12.6 percent) were the third most likely to re-enroll, followed by Native American students (12.5 percent) and white students (10.6 percent).

  • Low Income Low income students returned to school at a higher rate than the overall dropout population (15.2 percent compared to 12.0 percent, respectively).

  • Limited English Proficient Students with limited English proficiency were not as likely to return to school as the overall dropout population. Of the Limited English Proficient students who dropped out, 9.1 percent returned to school or graduated by October 1, 2003.

  • Special Education Students in special education returned to school at a rate of 14.1 percent. This was higher than the return rate for all dropouts.

  • Vocational-Technical Schools Students at vocational-technical schools were also more likely to return to school than were students statewide. Of the vocational students who dropped out, 13.7 percent returned to school, compared to 12.0 percent for returned dropouts statewide. For the third consecutive year, students at city or town vocational schools were more likely to return to school than were students at regional, county or independent vocational schools (15.7 percent compared to 11.7 percent, respectively).

  • Charter Schools Of the students who dropped out of charter schools, 7.7 percent returned to school or graduated by October 1, 2003.

Reporting by Individual Districts and Schools

Consistent with past reports, the appendices beginning on page 12 present dropout data at the district and school levels. Data for schools with fewer than six students enrolled in grades 9-12 have been suppressed to protect student confidentiality

Download PDF Document  Appendix A - Annual Dropout Rates by District and School - XLS
Appendix A — Annual Dropout Rates by District and School
Appendix B - Projected Four-Year Dropout Rates by District - PDF  Appendix B - Projected Four-Year Dropout Rates by District - XLS
Appendix B — Projected Four-Year Dropout Rates by District
Appendix C - Annual Dropout Rates by District, Grade, and Gender - PDF  Appendix C - Annual Dropout Rates by District, Grade, and Gender - XLS
Appendix C — Annual Dropout Rates by District, Grade, and Gender
Appendix D - Annual Dropout Rates by District and Race/Ethnicity - PDF  Appendix D - Annual Dropout Rates by District and Race/Ethnicity - XLS
Appendix D — Annual Dropout Rates by District and Race/Ethnicity


Last Updated: April 1, 2004
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