Research

Attrition and Dropout Rates in Texas

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 following.

  • Texas is failing to graduate one out of every four students.
  • 25 percent of the freshman class of 2012-13 left school prior to graduating from a Texas public high school in the 2015-16 school year.
  • Texas high schools lost 102,610 students between 2012-13 and 2015-16. At
  • 106 counties had a lower attrition rate than last year, 110 counties had a higher attrition rate than last year, and 18 counties had the same rate as last year.
  • The racial-ethnic gaps are nearly as high as or higher than 30 years ago.
  • Black students and Hispanic students are about two times more likely to leave school without graduating with a diploma than White students.
  • In the last 30 years, Texas schools have lost a cumulative total of more than 3.6 million students from public high school enrollment prior to graduation.

See the attrition study news release.

See the IGC policy news release.

See the forecast news release.

See the zero tolerance news release.

Quick Links to IDRA’s Attrition Study Stories and Resources

Despite Graduation Rate Progress, Texas Appears Stuck at Losing One-Fourth of High Schoolers – 31st Annual Texas Public School Attrition Study Released by IDRA

  • News Release (November 1, 2016):Despite Graduation Rate Progress, Texas Appears Stuck at Losing One-Fourth of High Schoolers – See story
  • eNews:Despite Graduation Rate Progress, Texas Appears Stuck at Losing One-Fourth of High Schoolers – See eletter
  • Attrition Study: Texas Public School Attrition Study 2015-16 – See pdf
  • Infographic: Texas public schools are losing one out of four students – See infographic
  • Trend graphs: See attrition rates and numbers over the last 10 years – Look up your county
  • County List: Which counties had attrition rates go up or down – See list
  • eBook: Types of Dropout Data Defined – See eBook

Temporary Policy Relieves High-Stakes for 6,000 Students – Use of Individual Graduation Committees Unlocks Diplomas for Qualified Students

  • News Release (November 14, 2016):Temporary Policy Relieves High-Stakes for 6,000 Students – See story
  • eNews:Temporary Policy Relieves High-Stakes for 6,000 Students – See eletter
  • Infographic: Use of individual graduation committees unlocks diplomas for qualified students – See infographic
  • Factsheet: Accountability that Doesn’t Hurt Students – See factsheet

Texas High Schools Stand to Lose Over 2 Million Students in Coming Years – At Our Current Pace in Texas, Universal High School Education is Two Decades Away

  • News Release (November 21, 2016):Texas High Schools Stand to Lose Over 2 Million Students in Coming Years – See story
  • eNews:Texas High Schools Stand to Lose Over 2 Million Students in Coming Years – See eletter

Zero Tolerance Policies Push Students Away – High Attrition Rates of Black Students and Hispanic Students Are Linked to Exclusionary Discipline

  • News Release (December 1, 2016):Zero Tolerance Policies Push Students Away – See story
  • eNews:Zero Tolerance Policies Push Students Away – See eletter
  • Infographic:6 School Policies that Lead to Higher Dropout Rates – See infographic
  • Web Story: Zero Tolerance in Texas Graphs & Tables – “Zero Tolerance Policies in Texas Push Black Students and Hispanic Students Away from School” – See story
  • Web Story: Zero Tolerance in Bexar County Graphs & Tables – “School Policies and Practices Impact High School Attrition Rates in Bexar County” – See story
  • eBook:Resources on Student Discipline Policy and Practice (second edition) – See eBook
  • Article:In-Grade Retention in the Early Years – What’s Holding Children Back? – See article
Share

  • Resources
  • 2015-16 Attrition Study
    PDF
  • Texas public schools are losing 1 of 4 students
    Infographics
  • County List - See which counties had attrition rates go up or down
    PDF
  • Types of Dropout Data Defined
    eBooks
  • Communities in Action
    Publications
  • Counting Dropouts – Episode 62
    Podcast
  • College Bound and Determined
    Publications
  • Courage to Connect: A Quality Schools Action Framework
    Publications
  • Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Overview
    PDF

News Release: Despite Graduation Rate Progress, Texas Appears Stuck at Losing One-Fourth of High Schoolers

(November 1, 2016) IDRA’s analysis found that the attrition rate in Texas has risen for the first time in 18 years. Though just an increase of 1 percentage point, Texas schools have been losing between 26 percent and 24 percent of high school students annually for the last five years.

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Texas High Schools Stand to Lose Over 2 Million Students in Coming Years

(November 21, 2016) IDRA’s analysis found that Texas will not reach an attrition rate of zero until 2035-36. At this pace, the state will lose more than 2 million students.

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News Release: Zero Tolerance Policies Push Students Away

(December 1, 2016) – Zero tolerance policies likely contribute to high attrition rates of Black students and Hispanic students in Texas public schools.

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News Release: Temporary Policy Relieves High-Stakes for 6,000 Students

(November 14, 2016) Students who are economically disadvantaged, Latino or African American benefited most from the alternative graduation policy established by the Texas legislature in SB149.

Read More

Look Up Your County

See attrition rates and numbers over the last 10 years.

Read More