National Dropout Numbers: Three Million or 11 Million? It Depends on Whom You Ask

High school dropouts have been a national concern for decades and there have been lots of studies on why teens drop out and how to keep them in school. Now, researchers are debating how many teens have actually dropped out and the numbers vary wildly, from 3 million to a whopping 11 million teens. As JJIE.org reported last month, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released a report in December documenting that about 3 million 16 to 24-year-olds were not in high school and did not have a high school diploma. The Center did not include dropouts with a GED or dropouts who were institutionalized. Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies used the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and estimates a much higher number: 6.2 million.

School Crime Data Reveals Safety Concerns for Georgia Children

A new report on school crime and safety shows that students and teachers still have serious concerns in Georgia and across the nation. The Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics compiled data from 2008 – 2009 to give us a snapshot of what’s going on in public high schools across the state:

8.2% of Georgia students said they were threatened or injured with a weapon at school
4.2% admitted they carried a weapon to school during the month prior to the survey
11.7% were involved in a physical fight on school grounds
32.9% said drugs were available to them on school property
4.2% admitted using alcohol on school grounds
7,000 teachers (5.8%) said they were threatened with injury by a student
4,900 teachers (4%) said they were physically attacked by a student
35.2% of teachers said student misbehavior interfered with their teaching

The national snapshot is somewhat different, since the surveys included different age groups.  A startling number of children – 1.2 million – were victims of crime at school.  They reported 619,000 thefts and 743,100 violent crimes and assaults.  (Students surveyed in 2008 were 12-18 years old)  Here are some other surprising numbers:

15 homicides and 7 suicides of children at school during the 2008-2009 school year
8% of students were threatened with a weapon at school
20% of schools reported gang activity
32% of students said they were bullied in 2007

5.9% of all high school students carried weapons on school grounds

According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics 5.9% of all high school students, nationwide, have carried a knife, gun or club onto campus. Of the students who brought weapons to school, 9% were boys and nearly 3% were girls.  The 2009 report breaks down the data even more:

7.3% of students who brought weapons to school were Hispanic
6% of students were black
5.3% of students were white

22.3% of High School Students Have Used Illegal Drugs

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 22.3% of all high school students, nationwide, have offered, sold or given another student an illegal drug on campus in 2007. Of the students who participated in illegal drug dealing, 25.7% were male and 18.7% were female. Here are some stats on student drug dealing at school:

Hispanic students 29.1%. White students 20.7% . Black students 19.3%.

79% of Students are Bullied

79% of students in middle school and high school across the nation say they have been bullied.  63% of these students were bullied once or twice a year. 7% were bullied every day. This is according to a 2007 report by the National Center for Education Statistics.  Girls were 3% more likely to be bullied at school then boys. Only 36% of students who were victimized notified a teacher or another trusted adult.