Jay Green (Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates )reported that in 2003, nationally 72% of girls graduated compared with 65% of boys while the gap is larger in minority students. The graduation rate for Black female students exceeded that of their male counterparts by eleven percentage points, while the difference for Hispanics was nine percentage points. When it comes to college, 57% of students are women and the ratio is expected to rise to 75% in 2020 ( here is the whole article).
The consequences are dire. According to The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School male dropouts of all races were 47 times more likely to be incarcerated than their peers of a similar age who had graduated from a four-year college or university. In 2008 the unemployment rate for the nation’s high school drop outs reached a staggering 54%. In other words only 46% were employed. The employment rate for high school graduates was 68%, 79% for young adults who had completed 1-3 years of post-secondary schooling, and 87% for college graduates. And since the drop-out phenomenon afflicts more males than females, the consequences are more severe for boys. According to the same report, their mean cumulative earnings from ages 18-64 have seriously declined, along with their marriage rates, home ownership rates, and their tax contributions (this is where it becomes your problem as well). At the same time, the imprisonment rates rose. Young high school dropouts were 63 times more likely to end up in jail than young college graduates. In 2009 according to the NYT, on any given day, one in 10 young male high school dropouts is incarcerated, compared to one in 35 young male high school graduates.
In the first chapter we discussed the power of society in shaping individual behavior, a process not that obvious to the untrained eye. Some students voiced their opposition to the concept, pointing to the power of individual will to shape fate. But again, is it possible that this power is socially encouraged or discouraged? A philosophical labyrinth many would say… depending on the situation others would add…and everyone would have a point. A good one as a matter of fact. However, we have to try and gain an insight. Surveys may reveal some common characteristics and provide the macro level of analysis but the insiders’ assessments are our zoom lens. You have probably observed kids (mostly boys) in high school drop out. How do you explain this phenomenon?