Making Good on a Promise addresses a critical question: Are pathways available to help dropouts pursue an education and move toward an economically productive adulthood? This report assesses how far our society is from “making good” on the promise of a second chance for dropouts and offers a starting point for improving the record. It challenges several misconceptions, based on a detailed look at who dropped out and how much education they completed by their early adulthood.
JFF's findings, which counter the prevailing views of the dropout population, include:
- Dropping out is epidemic in central cities and rural, low-income communities—but it is not just a problem of the poor.
- Socioeconomic status—not race—is the key indicator for dropping out.
- Black and Hispanic youth are no more likely to drop out than their white peers in the same socioeconomic group, but the problem hurts black and Hispanic communities more than others.
- Most dropouts are remarkably persistent in their desire to get more education.
Making Good on a Promise concludes with lessons for policymakers looking for new ways to give dropouts a second chance.