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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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Attrition and Dropout Rates in Texas

Texas public schools are losing one out of four students.

Each fall, IDRA releases its attrition study. Attrition rates are an indicator of a school’s holding power, or the ability to keep students enrolled in school and learning until they graduate. Key findings from the latest study show:

  • The statewide attrition rate was 25 percent for 2012-13. 
  • At this rate, Texas will not reach universal high school education for another quarter of a century in 2036.
  • Numerically, 99,575 students were lost from our public high schools in 2012-13.
  • 102 counties had a lower rate than last year, 105 counties had a higher rate than last year, and 14 counties had the same rate as last year.
  • The racial-ethnic gaps are still higher than 28 years ago. The gap between the rates of White students and Hispanic students has gotten the closest ever from the original 18 percentage points to 19 in 2012-13. The gap between the attrition rates of White students and Black students has increased from 7 percentage points to 12.
  • Black students and Hispanic students are about two times more likely to leave school without graduating with a diploma than White students.
  • Students from ethnic minority groups account for nearly three-fourths (72.5 percent) of the estimated 3.3 million students lost from public high school enrollment.

Infographic: Texas High School Attrition
See IDRA’s new graphic showing how Texas public schools are losing one out of four students. It doesn’t have to be this way. (sharable web graphic, png)



County List – See which counties had attrition rates go up or down.


Free eBook on Types of Dropout Data – Get an overview of different methods of measuring the dropout problem. Each gives unique information that is important for assessing schools’ quality of education and school holding power.


IDRA has developed a one-page School Holding Power Checklist with a set of criteria for assessing and selecting effective dropout prevention strategies and for making sure your school is a quality school.

Communities and their neighborhood public schools can turn the tide. Together we can and must guarantee that every child graduates from high school ready for college and the world of work. Get ideas and strategies for school action, for collective action, for individual action and for parent action.

IDRA’s Quality School Action Framework guides communities and schools in identifying weak areas and strengthening public schools’ capacities to graduate and prepare all students for success. IDRA’s book, Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework™ shows how communities and schools can work together to be successful with all of their students. The book’s web page provides a table of contents, excerpt, related podcasts and other resources.

Receive IDRA’s Graduation for All free bilingual (Spanish/English) monthly e-letter to get up-to-date information to make a difference in your school and community.

See IDRA’s set of principles for policymakers and school leaders.

IDRA’s bilingual online OurSchool data portal helps community and school partners examine their school data and plan joint action to improve school holding power. The data portal is also available in Spanish.

See a list of dropout and graduation studies by IDRA and others over time. 


Classnotes Podcast: “Counting Dropouts” (2009)

Attrition Rates 08 09
Attrition Rates 07 08
Attrition Rates 06 07
Attrition Rates 05 06
IDRA Attrition Studies

Attrition Studies
Texas Public Attrition Study 2012-13
Look Up Your County
Attrition and Dropout Rates in Texas
School Holding Power
OurSchool Data Portal
Look up your Service Center Area
Attrition Rates 2008 by ESC
All Texas Students Must be Accounted
Education Topics in this Web Site
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