This research project examined the low rates of high school graduation by Black and Latino students in California’s public high schools. The study found that both political and social factors play a major role in minority students’ decisions to either drop out of or graduate from high school. Social factors are defined as either family or peer pressure influencing a student to make a decision. Political factors are factors at school such as class sizes, teacher quality, school safety, sports programs, and academic offerings. Parents and students tend to believe the flaws are at school, and it is the school’s job to help the students succeed. However, most teachers see problems at home and from friends as the main reasons why students drop out. The state government needs to intervene and ensure that every student in California has access to schools that are safe, have extracurricular programs, and provide classes that students need to qualify for college. Also, community outreach programs can improve networks of communication between teachers, students, and parents to effectively break the communication barriers many teachers face. Graduation rates are far too low, ethnically biased, and eliminate many positive opportunities for minority students’ futures. Policies need to be created and enforced by the state and programs need to be implemented in communities to help students graduate from high school with a chance for a successful future. Education is not an equal opportunity for all students in 2010 and this is a major problem our society needs to address.
The purpose of this study was to determine why Black and Latino students in California drop out of high school at substantially higher rates than...
The purpose of this study was to determine why Black and Latino students in California drop out of high school at substantially higher rates than those of any other ethnic group. Surveys were distributed to students who graduated from high school, students who did not graduate, parents of both groups of students, and administrators at schools with high minority populations to determine reasons for the high drop out rates. By examining literature and surveying a broad spectrum of participants, this study’s surveys confirmed the literature’s identification of both political and social factors as being influential in a student’s decision to either complete or leave high school. Most conclusions in education research suggest either political or social factors are at fault independently, but this project suggests the need for policies and programs focusing on both factors together to potentially reduce the high rates of minority drop out that occur in California’s high schools.