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Study of 1986-87 MCPS Dropouts and MCPS Efforts To Help Potential Dropouts

NCJ Number
S M Raber; N J Myerberg; D C Scott
Date Published
125 pages
This study of dropouts from the Montgomery County public schools (Maryland) focuses on the characteristics of dropouts, their reasons for dropping out, their status after leaving school, and programs and strategies to assist potential dropouts.
The study targets 1986-87 dropouts. Compared to non-dropouts, dropouts were older for their grade, had poorer academic performance, were more likely to have been suspended, and had been in the school system a shorter time period. Interviews with the dropouts yielded the following reasons for dropping out of school: dislike of school; school failure; family and personal problems; the need or desire for employment; social problems; drug/alcohol problems; and pregnancy/lack of child care. Twenty-six of the dropouts have completed or are completing their high school educations as of June 1989. Most were employed, but in low-skill, low-pay jobs. The Montgomery County Public School system uses a variety of programs to assist students at risk of dropping out of school. These include vocational programs, mentoring programs, alternative and supplementary education, and evening high school and summer school programs. Some recommendations for improving programs for potential and actual dropouts are offered. Appended dropout interview guide, development of dropout types, and program fact sheets