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Information Services - Statistical Reports

Dropout Rates 1999 - 2000

Introduction

This report provides information on students who dropped out of Massachusetts public schools during the 1999-00 reporting year (July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000). 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
Text Box 1 measure, 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 1999-00 reporting year, a total of 9,199 ninth- through twelfth-graders dropped out of Massachusetts public schools and did not return to school by October 1, 2000. These students represented 3.5 percent of the 265,795 students enrolled in grades nine through twelve in the state's public schools on October 1, 1999. The 1999-00 annual dropout rate of 3.5 percent was a decrease from the previous year, when the state rate was 3.6 percent.

In addition to the 9,199 dropouts, another 1,675 students dropped out of school during the 1999-00 reporting year and were not in school at the end of the year but returned to school by October 1, 2000. These students, referred to in this report as returned dropouts, represented 15.4 percent of the total number of students who dropped out during the 1999-00 school year. The rates reported in this report do not include 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 1999-00 reporting year will have dropped out by the end of their senior year in 2003. 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 2003. The projected four-year dropout rate of 13 percent for the class of 2003 decreased from the class of 2002's rate (14 percent). The projected four-year rates for the class of 1999, 2000, and 2001 were 13 percent.

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 79 percent1 . Eighteen schools reported no dropouts in 1999-00 and another 65 schools reported dropout rates of one percent or less. Eighteen schools reported dropout rates greater than ten percent. These 18 schools comprised 6.5 percent of the state's grade nine through twelve enrollment, but accounted for 26.5 percent of the state's dropouts.

Table 1. Dropout Rates: 1999-00
 EnrollmentNumber of
Dropouts
Annual
Rate
Projected
4-year
Rate*
Returns as %
of Dropouts**
Total, Grade 9-12265,7959,1993.5% --15.4%
Grade
 Grade 977,8572,4303.1%13%12.8%
 Grade 1068,7462,564 3.7%--15.9%
 Grade 1162,5892,4443.9%--16.6%
 Grade 1256,6031,7613.1%--16.5%
Gender
 Male134,9065,362 4.0%15%15.1%
 Female130,8893,8372.9%11%15.9%
Race/Ethnic Group
 African-American22,3491,3596.1%22%14.1%
 Asian11,7634714.0%15%20.4%
 Hispanic23,5071,9358.2%29%13.0%
 Native American712304.2%16%6.3%
 White207,4645,4042.6%10%16.1%
Voc-Tech Schools***32,3921,0523.2%13%9.5%
 City/Town7,4034095.5%21%8.3%
 Regional/County/Independent24,9896432.6%14%8.9%


Table 2. Annual Dropout Rates: 1995-2000
 1995-961996-971997-981998-991999-00
3.4%3.4%3.4%3.6%3.5%
8,1778,4538,5829,1889,199
240,347246,757252,633258,026265,795
 Grade 9 2.8% 2.8% 2.7% 3.1% 3.1%
 Grade 10 3.7% 3.8% 3.6% 3.8% 3.7%
 Grade 11 3.9% 4.0% 4.2% 4.3% 3.9%
 Grade 12 3.3% 3.2% 3.3% 3.1% 3.1%
 Male3.9%3.9%3.9%4.0%4.0%
 Female2.9%3.0%2.9%3.1%2.9%
 African-American5.9%5.6%6.1%6.7%6.1%
 Asian2.3%2.7%3.5%3.6%4.0%
 Hispanic7.9%8.2%8.2%9.8%8.2%
 Native American4.5%6.0%5.3%4.0%4.2%
 White2.7%2.7%2.6%2.5%2.6%
3.4%3.2%2.9%2.9%3.2%
 City/Town5.7%6.1%4.9%4.9%5.5%
 Regional/County/Independent2.9%2.6%2.4%2.4%2.6%


Table 3. Projected Four-Year Dropout Rates:
Class of 1999-2003
 Class of 1999 Class of 2000 Class of 2001 Class of 2002 Class of 2003
13% 13% 13% 14% 13%
 Male 15% 15% 15% 15% 15%
 Female 11% 11% 11% 12% 11%
 African-American 22% 21% 22% 24% 22%
 Asian 9% 11% 13% 14% 15%
 Hispanic 28% 28% 29% 33% 29%
 Native American 17% 23% 21% 17% 16%
 White 11% 10% 10% 10% 10%
13% 13% 12% 12% 13%
 City/Town 21% 22% 19% 19% 21%
 Regional/County/Independent 11% 10% 10% 9% 14%


Table 4. Distribution of Annual Dropout Rates:
1997-2000
 Number and Percent of Schools*
 1996-971997-981998-991999-2000
Annual Rate (%)#%# % # % # %
12 4 13 4 19 6 18 6
53 17 69 22 63 20 67 21
10133 89 29 93 30 10332
84 27 93 30 83 26 72 23
32 10 26 8 28 9 30 10
11 4 7 2 12 4 9 3
15 5 14 5 19 6 18 6
302 311 317 317 


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Last Updated: November 1, 2001
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