Minimizing High School Dropouts: Social Perspective

Topics: High school, Sociology, College Pages: 8 (2530 words) Published: January 27, 2011

The purpose of this research paper was to record and analyze students’ experiences with dropping out of high school within a social perspective. Discussing the stories of high school dropouts provided valuable information related to the root causes of dropout behaviors in a social influence context. This information could be used to develop programs designed to increase social influence in schools, families, and communities, which can contribute to a decrease in dropout behaviors. High school dropouts are at a new record high in society today, it has been recorded that every second there is a high school student dropping out equaling close to 1000 students a month throughout the USA. What grade should be observed the most to avoid high dropout rates? Who does the high school dropout crisis affect the most? These are just some of the questions we as parents, teachers, administrators, government officials, etc need to really ask ourselves. Because this social problem is only going to keep growing if we as a nation do not start taking the proper steps to improve our school systems and communities. Graduation rates are one of the most troubling concerns, especially in the ninth grade. Meanwhile, the federal government has invested millions of dollars in researching at risk drop out students, which estimated in 2001 to over half a million students leaving before graduation. Unfortunately, this increase in the dropout rate has occurred at a time when there seems such a large emphasis on getting a college degree, much less a high school diploma and being able to compete in a global world (Neild, Balfanz, & Herzog, 2007). The ninth grade students accumulate the highest behavioral issues as well as poor grades, because it is the first time for many students having to earn passing grades in their core courses or even be responsible for their own actions. Researchers have started their target area with the ninth graders because this is a make or break stage in the students’ school years (Smith, Akos, Lim, & Wiley, 2008). With high school graduation requirements increasing throughout the states both involving the ninth grade and the transition from middle school to high school , a lot of data went into viewing the importance of the ninth grade year (Cooney, & Bottoms, 2002). Possible help tactics to ease the transition to high school included developing freshman academics and emphasis on students both before and after ninth grade, which could boost freshman success and possibly reduce high school dropout rates (Fulk, 2003). Challenging high school graduation requirements during the ninth grade year are only one of the many issues that many students face. With this being my 2nd year as an Administrator in high school, I am the individual that works closely to the ninth grade class developing transition skills from middle school to high school. And honestly at this level of high school they are the most challenging because they are still playful, immature, and lack the importance of high school. So implementing programs throughout their whole 9th grade year could help develop them into stronger students as well as individuals. Fulk (2003) mentioned high schools developing freshman academics so this way they are challenging them not making the transition complicating but strengthening them academically. High schools implementing this program could be a great idea however these students need to be motivated and strengthened mentally before expecting them to achieve the highest level of excellence academically. Because this situation is so publicized the school systems need to gather (etc; charter schools, public schools, private schools) to implement social psychological theories to these schools so this issue can start changing. But realistically, the schools can get onboard however if the parents do not drive this into their children it can be quite difficult to change their...
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