Which dropouts should we focus on first?

A little thought popped into my head while watching my kids swimming the other day…

Depending on which source you look at, about 10% of kids drop out of high school (that is a bit conservative, some sources peg it much higher).  Now asuuming that not a lot of kids drop out of elementary and middle school, you could probably fairly say that at least 10-20% of kids drop out before they complete 12 years of school.

More than 50% of all teachers drop out of teaching before they finish teaching for 12 years.

You can probably see where I am going with this…

I just started to wonder that if we focused decreasing the teacher drop out rate, then maybe the student rate would also decrease.

If anyone happens to know the exact stats for teachers and students please leave it in the comments.


  1. I had a great, supportive principal my first year. But the district supervisor almost drove me out. Gave me all zeros on my observations three times in a row.

    Next question–of the 1000 positions lost in Connecticut this budget season how many of those teachers are lost forever?

  2. First you have to define what a drop out is, because that is like nailing jello to a wall. Does it mean finishes 13 years of school k-12, does it mean finishes high school 9-12 or does it mean any kid who does not finish the year?

    The dropout rate in 9-12 is more like 30-40 percent. We have freshmen classes around 500 and senior classes around 300. Simple math.

  3. We have one of the hightest drop out rates no matter what definition you use. I work for a rezervation school in Montana. I really don’t think there is a direct corelation between teachers dropping out and students dropping out. But I do think you address the drop out problem in Kindergarten. Identify the children most likely to drop out when they are in kindergarten and do what you can to keep them. Programs to keep high school students from dropping out are next to impossible to succeed.

    I guess you could say the same thing about teachers. Maybe the teacher training programs should be more rigourous about weeding out people who won’t stay the course. Many people, it seems, fall into teaching because they can’t think of anything else to do, or they’ve flunked out of other programs. Or because they liked going to school. I really think we should be much more demanding of our teacher training programs, there should be internships and residencys and probation to really train teachers before they are given a class of their own.

  4. I don’t know what Montana’s teacher training is like, but if California makes theirs anymore rigorous, we won’t have anyone entering the teaching field. The classes almost kill off the student teachers before they ever finish, and then finding a teaching job in California is becoming harder, too. I keep wondering why anyone is going into the profession.

  5. Here in Texas they are only making it more expensive, not more rigorous. They force you to renew your certification every five years and pay the state for the privilege of teaching. And of course if you want to be marketable and have multiple certificates (for example secondary English and secondary art) then you get to pay for each one.

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