There are two measures used to track student movement out of schools—dropout and attrition rates. Both measures use longitudinal data, or data monitoring a cohort of students over time. Both measures allow us to monitor students who do not graduate and students who leave the Texas public school system for any reason.
About this data:
E3 Alliance relies primarily on data from the University of Texas Education Research Center (ERC). This data allows for a longitudinal understanding of dropouts and attrition based on where and when a student attends high school. This data pertains to high school students who were enrolled within the state of Texas for any grades 9-12, excluding students who left the Texas public education system for reasons other than dropping out.
Following are items to note:
The year of the data represents the year of high school graduation. A student is defined as having dropped out if the student did not return to public school in the fall following the expected graduation date, was not expelled, and did not: graduate, receive a GED, enroll in higher education, or die. There is a delay in data availability due to state approval within the ERC and analysis time. As such, if you choose to explore data from Central Texas, the graphs below present dropout data in the most recent available year in Texas schools.
5,937 / 97,112
20,763 / 391,902
Digging Deeper: Income, Gender, and Race Play a Role in Dropout Rates
Reviewing the latest dropout data by student groups based on their gender, income, and race allows us to take a closer look at which students are being underserved by education systems.
In Texas for the class of 2019, high school dropout rates for Asian females from non-low-income households were the lowest (.5%), while high school dropout rates for Black males from low-income households were the highest (12%).
For all racial groups, females from non-low-income households dropped out at the lowest rates, followed by males from non-low-income households, then females from low-income households, and males from low-income households.
Dropout Rate, 2020
Dropouts Vary by Race
Dropout rates in Texas high schools show racial disparities that point to the need for systemic change around opportunities, access, and support.
For the Texas class of 2019, high schools have Black students dropping out at a rate of nearly 6 times more than Asian students (Black - 9%, Asian - 2%).
Look at disparities in persistence in your region by using the comparison feature. Are disparities larger or smaller in your region as compared to the state?
Disparities Exist in Dropouts by Household Income
Household income disparities in dropouts exist for Texas’ high school students.
For the Texas class of 2019, 8% of students from low-income households dropped out of high school, while 2% of students from non-low-income households dropped out.
Compare your region to the state by using the comparison feature. Are there greater or lesser disparities in your region?
Texas Dropout Rates Decreasing Over Last Ten Years
Grade 9 retention rates have been decreasing over the past ten years for Texas, and the same trend is found for Texas high school dropout rates.
In Texas overall, dropout rates decreased from 9% of the class of 2009 to 6% of the class of 2019.
See how the trend in your region compares to the state at large by using the comparison feature.
Disparities in Dropouts by Household Income Have Been Reduced but Progress is Stalling
Disparities in dropout rates continue for Texas high school students from low-income households as compared to those from non-low-income households. Despite a reduction in dropout rates since 2009, this disparity remains.
For students from low-income households, dropout rates decreased from 13% for the class of 2009 to 8% for the class of 2019.
For students from non-low-income households, dropout rates decreased from 5% for the class of 2009 to 2% for the class of 2019.
Use the comparison feature to view the trend in your region as compared to the state. Is the trend moving in the same direction? Are the disparities increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same over time?
Disparities in Dropouts by Race Have Been Reduced but Progress is Stalling
In Texas, all student groups have seen a decrease in high school dropout rates over the past decade. Although the trends have been similar across groups, the disparities between groups have persisted.
Use the comparison feature to look at trends in your region by race over the past 10 years, as compared to the state. How have disparities increased or decreased in your region?