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Volume 20, Number 6
November/December 2004

Getting to Tenth

Can helping your students through ninth grade keep many from dropping out?


Several national studies have suggested that the risk of dropping out increases as students rise up through the high school grades; that is, seniors are more likely to drop out than juniors, juniors are more likely to drop out than sophomores, and so on. But a study of Philadelphia high school students has found just the opposite: that the largest number of high school dropouts there are, by far, is ninth graders. What accounts for these contradictory findings? Are Philadelphia students really that different from their peers in other parts of the country?

This is an excerpt from the Harvard Education Letter. Subscribers can click here to continue reading this article.