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Proportion of students who drop out of school

Preventing Dropout

Students who attended City Connects schools in elementary school are significantly less likely to drop out of high school. In this update to findings first published in the 2012 City Connects Progress Report, we present both a cumulative effect on dropout rate across the years of high school and also average effects on dropout in each high school grade.

The bar graph above shows the adjusted dropout rate for students who attended comparison schools was about 15%, compared with 8% for students who attended City Connects elementary schools from kindergarten on. For students who started City Connects in kindergarten, the difference between students who attended City Connects elementary schools and comparison students translates to 50% lower odds of dropping out between grades 9 and 12.

 

Dropout rate by grade

The line graph above shows that at every grade level, students who attended City Connects elementary schools from kindergarten on are less likely to drop out of school. The difference at grade 9 is particularly notable: almost 6% for comparison students and 3% for City Connects students.

If an entire district experienced dropout at a rate similar to that of City Connects students, for a cohort of 5,000 students, approximately 358 fewer students would have dropped out of high school.

High school graduation is widely argued to yield public economic benefits, including higher tax revenue and lower spending on the justice system, healthcare, and public assistance programs. A conservative estimate of the benefit is $127,000 per graduate. Assuming this estimate, if a district with a cohort of 5,000 had experienced dropout at a rate similar to City Connects students, the public benefit would have exceeded $45 million.

For more information on the methodology behind these evaluations, please see "Reducing High School Dropout through Elementary School Student Support," a policy brief published by the Center for Optimized Student Support at Boston College.

Citation: The Impact of City Connects: Progress Report 2014, p. 25-28.