WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS
TO LEAD CRIMINAL LIVES?
Professor George D. McMillan
Purpose:It is extremely important to get an education and graduate high school. Without obtaining a high school diploma, a GED or College Degree, an individual will likely experience great difficulties in finding and obtaining a job. As a result of such basic educational requirements enforced by society and more specifically employers...an individual may also have a difficult time functioning and earning a reasonable income.1 Additionally, with no financial resources to support a family, this puts the individual in the bottom 5 to 16 percent of Americans whom we deem to be in poverty. With crime most apparent in the lower- and underclass, we can make the assumption that a lot of dropouts come from these groups of individuals. To make a difference, we must start where there is the greatest chance of dropouts, and that of course is at the bottom of the societal pyramid. So, if we reduce the dropout rates, it may help with the crime rates. The intent of this research proposal is to better understand the cause of dropouts and the affect they have on society. More importantly, it is to identify the problems so that the juvenile system can help prevent further continuance and ultimately reduce the underclass crime rate in dropouts. In efforts to help diminish the dropout rate, it can: (1) stimulate the economy; (2) decrease the amount of unemployment; and (3) cut the size of the underclass in half, which in turn will decrease the vast majority of visible crime. By making it difficult for high school students to become predisposed to poverty and crime, we can improve the outcome for future generations. I want to better understand the internal cause of this phenomenon, but in order to do that we have to start from the external cause. I am going to be looking at how society is affected, as well as, how they affect the dropouts. On my search for information, I will try and obtain an interview with some old schoolmates who dropped out during our Sophomore year at West Springfield High School. The reason they dropped out was always a mystery to me, and I always just thought to myself that, “These people must be stupid, so they dropout.” I was quick to learn how ignorant I was myself. Background:High school graduation was never really tracked until the late 1900's.3 So, dropout rates were never really a sought after statistic. Archived data has now been used to understand the graduation rates dating back almost a century ago. In 1870, the earliest date on record, only 2 percent of 17-year-olds in the nation had a secondary-level education. In 1940, for the first time, half of all students finished high school. Although graduation did not become an established norm until the 1950s, the U.S. graduation rate reached its historical high point at the end of the 1960s, with the graduation rate peaking at 77 percent in 1969.3 It looked as though high school graduation was becoming a trend, but something must have happened after Class of '69 to cause the national average to drop more than ten percent in just over 30 years. In the late 1980's, when modern-day data became readily available to public schools, the graduation rate slowly was on the decline from record highs of around 70 percent.3 The graduation rate plummeted during the early 1990s, eventually stabilizing around 66 percent by the end of the decade. As stated by the EPE Research Center, 2010; U.S. Department of Education, “since then, [graduation rate] has generally been characterized by gradual but steady improvements. The class of 2005 was once again earning diplomas at a pace last seen in the early 1990s. However, two consecutive annual declines since then have eroded the nation’s graduation rate, which stood at slightly less than 69 percent for the class of 2007”.3 With all this...
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