Dealing with High Dropout Rates

School Choice and Hispanic Dropouts (by Madison Jones and Renee Bou-Waked 2007)

Jones and Bou-Waked (2007) present a brief analysis of Hispanic students’ dropouts. According to Jones and Bou-Waked (2007), the failure of such a large proportion of Hispanics to complete a basic level of education is a serious concern, particularly considering the positive economic benefits of earning a high school diploma.   Overall, students’ dropouts are usually statistically high. However, as it is stated in the article, in 2005 more than one fifth of Hispanics 16 through 24 years of age were dropouts. I feel that obviously the immigrant Hispanics have a higher dropout rate due to primarily the language and secondly not knowing all of the opportunities that are offered to them. Furthermore, “a high percentage of Hispanics who immigrate as older adolescents or young adults have already dropped out of the education system in their home countries, and they never attend American schools.” According to Jones and Bou-Waked, a factor contributing to a higher dropout rate for immigrant Hispanics (whether or not they were educated in American schools) is a lack of English language proficiency. Often kids feel afraid to speak out because of what people might say; in this case because of their accent and not having huge vocabulary to work with.

Schools usually offers many help that students aren’t aware of which is why they end up giving up, throwing in the towel and leaving school. Many students are smart, and have so much in front of them but one simple reason like not having the capability of shouting out an answer kept them behind. According to Jones and Bou-Waked (2007), if schools competed with other school through open enrollment policies, they would have a comparative advantage in Hispanic education that would improve academic achievement and attract even more under-performing students.

School choice would greatly increase opportunities for Hispanics to excel by requiring public schools to compete for students (Jones and Bou-Waked 2007). In addition, there is a lot that can be done not only by the parents, but also by the community. Parents should stand off by being there for their children, and if in need of help to find it! If the community notices that the dropout rates are increasing, they should step in and find ways to help. The article mentioned, “with school choice, schools that perform exceptionally well with one subgroup of students could specialize. This could include, for example, programs geared toward, English-language acquisition by Spanish-speaking students, or other minorities, low-income and disadvantaged students, or low-or-high achievers.”