High School Persisters: An Examination of College and Workforce Outcomes

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High school dropouts -- Maryland -- Prevention, Educational sociology, Academic achievement -- United States, Students -- Maryland --Social conditions, Education and state


This report examined the college and workforce outcomes of high school persisters, students who did not formally withdraw from high school, nor earn a regular high school diploma, four years after entering high school as a first-time ninth grader. We used data from the Maryland Longitudinal Data System (MLDS) to identify the population of students enrolled as first-time ninth graders in a Maryland public high school for a period of 90 days or more during the 2009-2010 academic year and attended a Maryland public high school in the 2012- 2013 academic year. The analyses conducted for this report identified a population of Maryland students who persisted into and through their fourth year of high school without earning a high school diploma that was larger than the population of students who dropped out of high school in their fourth year. Non-white and Hispanic students, as well as students in vulnerable subgroups (eligible for free and reduced price meals (FARMs), homeless, immigrant, English learners, and special education) tended to have less favorable outcomes in their fourth and fifth years of high school. Overall, persisters had more negative college and workforce outcomes when compared to students who earned a high school diploma. Policy implications and directions for future research are addressed.


Note: At the time of writing, Dr. Uretsky was affiliated with University of Maryland, Baltimore.

© Maryland Longitudinal Data System Center 2016

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