Dropping out of high school is a serious issue faced by many teenagers today in the United States of America. The rates of high school completion vary along ethnic and racial lines, with Hispanic and black students earning the credentials for a lower rate as compared to whites and Asian students. Meade agrees that a low percentage of Black and Latino males are awarded high school diplomas (4). There are numerous reasons why students drop out of school. These include stressful everyday life in school, peer pressure, poor grades and drugs addiction. Dropping out of high school is associated with several adverse outcomes among the black and Hispanic students such as loss of income, criminal behavior and social implications.
Firstly, high rate of school dropout has led to the loss of income and rising unemployment among blacks and Hispanics. This is because having a diploma is important in the American workforce today as it leads to employment and more earnings. Greene and Winters note that 55 percent of African-American students and 53 percent of Hispanic students graduate from high school (3). Young black high school dropouts are more likely to be unemployed as compared to Hispanic dropouts because young Hispanics are mostly undocumented immigrants who successfully compete for jobs with natives. Loss of income is also associated with the lack of skills and inadequate education which lead to shrinking employment opportunities for black and Hispanic students.
Secondly, high school dropout rate has resulted in the rise in criminal behaviors leading to incarceration of Hispanics and blacks. Students who drop out of school are likely to engage in crime. Majority of these dropouts aged between 25-35 years are males lacking meaningful source of income and hence indulge in criminal activities because they experience economic and social hardships brought about by unemployment due to dropping out of school. They are engaged in criminal and violent activities, offenses related to drugs, or committing crimes in order to have access to drugs because of the poverty.
Finally, social implications have been brought up by the high dropout rates. High school dropouts do not have a significant source of income hence decrease in national income, tax revenues collected by the government, and the rise in crime and social services provided to these dropouts. This has an impact on the State and Federal governments because they pay less taxes and require support for programs initiated by the government. Clayton-Molina notes that Hispanic high school dropouts face limited employment openings because they do not meet the qualifications to serve in the army due to little knowledge in core subjects such as science, mathematics, and English (49). The government of the united states will, therefore, have to struggle in meeting the needs of these high school dropouts leading to the strain on the available resources.
In conclusion, high school dropout rates have had an impact on the blacks and Hispanics. It has resulted in the loss of income, unemployment, and lack of skills that are fundamental in attaining well-paying jobs. Also, dropout rates have led to increased crime, incarcerations, and offenses related to drugs among blacks and Hispanics as they struggle to make a living. Other societal implications include decrease in taxes and revenue collected by the government.
Clayton-Molina, Cheryl Ann. "Hispanic High School Dropouts: Their Unheard Voices." (2015).
Greene, Jay P., and Marcus A. Winters. "Leaving Boys Behind: Public High School Graduation Rates. Civic Report No. 48." Center for Civic Innovation (2006).
Meade, Benjamen, et al. "A close look at the dropout crisis: Examining Black and Latino males in New York City." New York: Metropolitan Center for Urban Education (2009).
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