New Orleans Dropout Rate Plummets 31%

Schools doing a much better job keeping kids in school!

The dropout rate[1] for New Orleans public school 9th-12th graders (RSD and OPSB, charters and direct-run) fell 31% from 2008-09 to 2009-10, dropping from 8.3% to 5.7%.

Since 2005, New Orleans dropout rate has been cut in half.

Pre-Katrina, New Orleans had one of the worst dropout rates in Louisiana, and Louisiana had one of the worst dropout rates in the nation. In 2004-05, 11.4% of the city’s public high school students dropped out.

Since 2005, both New Orleans and Louisiana have improved, but New Orleans is improving at a much faster rate than the state.  The New Orleans dropout rate has fallen 50%, while the state’s rate has dropped 27%.

Translation:  More teens in school

Put in real terms, this improvement means over 300 more students stayed in school in 2009-10, compared to 2008-09, and 677 more students were in school than would have been if we still had the 11.4% dropout rate of 2004-05.

Percent of Students Dropping Out of School
Grades 9-12

##

New Orleans Compared to the State

Aggregated Dropout Numbers and Percents


 

Year

Grades 7-8


Grades 9-12


#

%

#

%

Orleans

2004-05

534

4.6

2139

11.4

State

2004-05

2982

2.4

14210

7.0

Orleans

2008-09

385

6.1

989

8.3

State

2008-09

2453

2.2

12163

6.3

Orleans

2009-10

299

4.5

677

5.7

State

2009-10

1816

1.5

8704

4.6


[1] Schools and/or school districts give every student an exit code when they leave a school (graduated, transferred to another school, incarcerated, deceased, etc.). The Louisiana Department of Education (LDE) compares all students who were enrolled in school or a GED program as of October 1 in one year and are NOT enrolled as of October 1 the following year. Any student no longer enrolled who does not have a valid exit code is considered a dropout. Some of these students might re-enroll at a later date, so the annual dropout rate may overstate the dropout problem.
[2] While the data across grades is very reliable, there are inconsistencies in assigning a student who has dropped out to a particular grade. For example, if a student is enrolled on October 1 as an 8th grader but not enrolled the following year, depending upon the circumstances, the school or district might report them as an 8th grade dropout or as a 9th grade dropout.

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