By Hope Gillette, Voxxi

Poor academic performance ranked fourth on decisive reasons for high school student drop out , states the 2012 High School Drop Outs in America study.

The data indicates the number one reason (23 percent) for high school  student drop out rates is lack of parental encouragement, followed closely by teenage pregnancy (21 percent) and poor attendance (17 percent). Tied for fourth place at 15 percent were reasons relating to academic performance, issues with mental health, and lack of interesting/motivating classes.

High school student drop outs in America

Of the 513 high school student drop outs surveyed, all between the ages of 19 and 35, researchers found one-third of them were employed, and of those, 46 percent felt they had no chance of advancement in their current positions.

“It’s certainly not surprising that almost half of young Americans without a high school diploma feel like their career prospects are on shaky ground,” survey spokesman and Everest College regional director of career services John Swartz said in a statement, reported the Huffington Post. “When you look at the numbers, the economic impact on someone who doesn’t finish high school is staggering.”

The Alliance for Excellence in Education indicates

more than 1 million high school students drop out every year in the United States, with more than half of those students having an African-American, Hispanic or American Indian ethnic background.

Since 1970, the U.S. has dropped from leading the world in high school graduation rates to position 21.

In addition to drop out rates, the survey asked participants how they felt about achieving a General Education Diploma (GED) in the near future.

Education News reports more than 75 percent did not see themselves pursuing a GED, though some had looked into the process. At this stage of questioning, the main reasons for not obtaining a GED were lack of time and lack of proper finances.

“In this country, if a student drops out of high school, one of the most important things we can do is make the option of getting a GED credential easy and affordable,” said Swartz, according to Education News. “The unemployment rate for high school drop outs is significantly higher than those with a high school diploma. At the same time, a drop out’s access to post-secondary education and training, a requirement for many jobs in today’s competitive economy, is severely restricted.”

This article was first published in Voxxi.

Hope Gillette is an award winning author and novelist. She has been active in the veterinary industry for over 10 years, and her experience extends from exotic animal care to equine sports massage. She shares her home with four cats, a dog, a horse, and her tolerant husband.

[Photo by  alamosbasement]

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