Years of data have consistently underscored the persistent graduation gap between America’s students of color and their peers. The most recent estimate shows that high school graduation rates for African American, Latino, and American Indian students hover only slightly higher than 50 percent. This is more than 20 percentage points lower than that of their white peers.
In addition to the moral imperative to provide every student with an equal opportunity to pursue the American dream, there is also a strong economic argument for helping more students of color graduate from high school. Lowering the dropout rate brings a range of benefits to a community, many of which most people do not realize. Graduating more students from high school can have a profound impact on increased earnings potential, home and auto sales, and other important economic indicators for communities and states.
Earlier in 2010, the Alliance for Excellent Education documented the benefits of reducing the dropout rate for all students in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. Building on this work, the Alliance is now able to estimate the economic benefits of reducing the dropout rate among students of color in these metro areas. These findings were developed in partnership with Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., an Idaho-based economic firm specializing in socioeconomic impact tools, and with the generous support of State Farm®.
To see how cutting the dropout rate in half in students of color subgroups in the nation’s fifty largest cities—and the metropolitan areas that surround them—would benefit the nation’s economy as a whole, read the aggregate analysis. To view these results for the nation's forty-five largest metropolitan area in one easy-to-read table, read the summary of findings.
To view the one-page document of the economic benefits for a particular city/metro area for students of color (soc) as well as for all students (all), please click on the appropriate link in the list below.
To view the analyses for all students in the nation’s forty-five largest metro areas and other major metro areas, click here.
- Frequently Asked Questions: The Alliance for Excellent Education has prepared a list of frequently asked questions about the cities included in the analysis, more information about the economic model, and future calculations the Alliance will release from the model, among others.
- Technical Notes: The technical notes document includes a more sophisticated explanation of how the model was constructed and how specific calculations were performed.
- July 7, 2010 Press Release
- July 7, 2010 Webinar Release Event
- "The Economic Benefits from Halving the Dropout Rate: A Boom to Businesses in the Nation’s Largest Metropolitan Areas", a report released in January 2010 that contains the individual analyses for each of the nation's forty-five largest metro areas, as well as the national analysis. To view these results for the nation's forty-five largest metropolitan area in one easy-to-read table, read the summary of findings.