ABOUT THE DROPOUT CRISIS
The vast majority of students – 92 percent – say they expect to earn a high school diploma. But, for many of these students, the reality is much different.
Every year, more than 1.3 million students drop out of high school. That's 7,000 students a day [America's Promise Alliance, "Grad Nation"].
According to the US Department of Education, Colorado ranks 37th in the United States for graduation with a rate of 74 percent, behind the national rate of 78.2 percent as published in the 2013 Building A Grad Nation Report. For Black/African American (65%), Hispanic/Latino (60%) and American Indian/Alaska Native or Native American (52%) students in Colorado, the numbers are far worse.
Within the City and County of Denver, dropout rates are proportionately higher than the statistics in other parts of our state. During the 2011-2012 school year, 2,013 kids dropped out. And while the Denver County dropout rate has improved in recent years, progress has plateaued and more than 2,000 young people are still choosing to leave school in Denver County alone [Colorado Department of Education].
Colorado also struggles with a number of economic and funding factors that perpetuate this problem:
- Per capita spending: 42nd in per pupil spending adjusted for regional cost differences [Ed Week, 2013 Quality Counts, 2009-10 data];
- 41st in technology spending in Colorado schools [Ed Week, 2009 Technology Counts];
- 49th in poverty gap on 8th grade NAEP math tests [Ed Week, 2012 Quality Counts, 2011 data].
And yet, as you can see from the infographic below, economic investment resulting in additional high school graduates would pay huge dividends in Colorado: