ACTE Techniques April 2012 : Page 30

PROMISING PRACTICES San Diego’s High School Dropout Crisis PHOTOS BY ISTOCk.COM By JAMES C. WILSON Editor’s note: If the statistics are to be believed, too many ninth-graders don’t graduate from high school in four years. According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the national averaged freshman graduation rate for public school students in the United States for the class of 2008–2009 was 75.5 percent. There are a number of interventions being used across the country to address the specter of dropout. This article serves to highlight the problem in one city—San Diego. The following two articles, on pages 32 and 36, respectively, highlight two programs that are being used to address this matter in different localities. M ost San Diegans do not realize the enormous impact high school dropouts have on our city. The California Dropout Research Project, located at the University of Cali-fornia at Santa Barbara, has estimated the lifetime cost of one class or cohort of dropouts for the state of California at $24,212,395,755. These are real criminal justice, incarceration and victim costs. They also project that this one year’s crop of California’s dropouts will go on to commit 113,954 violent crimes. As you can see, the impact on all of us is enor-mous and much worse than you thought. The California Dropout Research Project has also made projections for the City of San Diego. For one class of the city’s dropouts, they project lifetime costs of $534,020,025. And they project that this one year of dropouts will commit 3,879 violent crimes. For the full high school population, multiply these num-bers by four and the cost is over 2 billion dollars and 15,000 violent crimes. The reason that these numbers are shocking is because the dropout issue has been kept www.acteonline.org 30 Techniques April 2012

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