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The Chalk Board: A Dropout Epidemic

Here in the United States, a kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds.

Here in the United States, a kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds. Over the course of a year, it adds up to 1.2 million students. Recently, when the National Center for Education Statistics issued a report examining graduation rates, or lack thereof, Education Secretary Arne Duncan didn't mince words: "When 25 percent of our students—and almost 40 percent of our black and Hispanic students—fail to graduate high school on time, we know that too many of our schools are failing to offer their students a world-class education."

To further complicate matters, Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce recently reported that education after high school is increasingly becoming a prerequisite to generate enough income to qualify for the middle class (PDF). And as demand for workers with college degrees continues to intensify, those that failed to secure a high school diploma will be left at a lifelong disadvantage. Here, a look at who, exactly, is dropping out. Maybe think of it as the beginning of a conversation in terms of what we, as a nation, will do about it.


Please note: Delaware, Maine, Nevada, and South Carolina are not included because the states did not report diploma count by race/ethnicity.

View the infographic.

A collaboration between GOOD and Design Language.

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