Information Services - Statistical Reports
Dropout Rates 1999 - 2000
I am pleased to issue our annual publication, Dropout Rates in Massachusetts Public Schools: 1999-00, with information on high school students who dropped out of Massachusetts public schools during the 1999-00 reporting year. This year for the first time we have also included dropout rates by grade, gender, and race for all districts. The information in this report will be useful in developing and monitoring dropout prevention services.
Summary of Key Findings
Annual Dropout Rate The 1999-00 annual dropout rate was 3.5 percent, a slight decrease from 3.6 percent the previous year. This rate represents a total of 9,199 students enrolled in grades nine through twelve who dropped out of Massachusetts public schools in the 1999-00 school year and did not return to school by October 1, 2000.
Rate Over Time The annual statewide dropout rate has remained within the range of 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent for the past five years.
Distribution of Rates for Individual Schools The annual dropout rate varied widely among individual schools, ranging from zero percent to 79 percent. More than half of the schools (59 percent) had a dropout rate of 2.5 percent or less. Approximately six percent of the schools had a rate higher than ten percent.
Grade Students in grade eleven dropped out at the highest rate of 3.9 percent followed by 3.7 percent for tenth graders. A rate of 3.1 percent was calculated for both ninth and twelfth graders. These differences, according to grade level, are consistent with data from previous years.
Gender The 1999-00 dropout rate was 4.0 percent for males (equivalent to last year) and 2.9 percent for females (a slightly lower rate than the previous year). Males have consistently dropped out at a higher rate than females for the past several years.
Race/Ethnicity Dropout rates varied widely by race/ethnicity. Hispanic students had the highest annual dropout rate at 8.2 percent followed by a rate of 6.1 percent for African-American students. Each of these rates shows a noticeable decrease from last year's rates of 9.8 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. Native American students had a 4.2 percent dropout rate; Asian students, a rate of 4.0 percent; and white students, a rate of 2.6 percent - all slight increases from the prior year.
Vocational-Technical Schools The annual dropout rate for students enrolled in vocational-technical schools was 3.2 percent, somewhat lower than the statewide rate. The rate for city/town vocational-technical schools was 5.5 percent, and the rate for regional, independent and county vocational-technical schools was 3.2 percent. All three of these rates represent increases from last year's values.
Thank you for your interest in this report. If you have any questions, please contact:
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Information Services and Technology
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148
David P. Driscoll
Commissioner of Education
Data Files: (