The High School Dropout Rate is Decreasing in the U.S., But Not for Low-income Students

President of Miracle University Says Focus on Culturally Responsive Mentoring and Teaching Would Significantly Reduce Dropout Rates

SACRAMENTO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 1, 2023 / Completing high school is a major milestone for many teenagers across the United States. Dreams of getting into college and having sustainable careers motivates many to graduate and receive diplomas. According to Think Impact, the graduation rate in the country is at an all-time high of 85.3%, while the dropout rate is 6%. As of 2021, there are currently 26,727 high schools in the U.S. with 2,845 of these being private schools. From 2019 to 2020, 15.1 million students attended high school in the U.S.

But there is another nagging statistic that is causing concern among parents, educators, policymakers, and even law enforcement. Despite improvement in the overall graduation rate, there are still disparities by race and income according to The dropout rates remain high for people of color. In particular, American Indian/Alaska Native high school students have the highest high school dropout rate at 9.6 percent. This is much higher compared to the overall average dropout rate of 5.1 percent.

Minority students also are disproportionately likely to attend a "dropout factory," which researchers have defined as schools where fewer than 60 percent of freshmen make it to senior year: 1 in 3 minority students (32%) attend a dropout factory, compared to 8% of white students.

Dr. Kadhir Rajagopal, former teacher and president of Miracle University, a charter academy high school in Sacramento, California, says high school dropouts commit about 75% of crimes, leaving most Americans vulnerable to a small percentage of the population.

"You and I, along with 350 million other Americans, are hostages to the dropout crisis," says Rajagopal, California's Teacher of the Year in 2011 and author of Create Success! Unlocking the Potential of Urban Students. "There are about 1,500 "dropout factory" high schools that silently produce one million dropouts per year, mostly students of color. And these dropouts are responsible for the grand majority of our prison population and crimes which end up costing millions of lives and billions of dollars."

Dr. Kadhir Raja, teaching at Miracle
Dr. Kadhir Raja, teaching at Miracle

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the U.S. prison population has exploded from 200,000 to over two million. Eighty-percent of prisoners do not have a high school diploma. A teacher for over 20 years, Dr. Rajagopal's program at Miracle University focuses on intense mentoring for all four years of high school as well as highly structured socially responsible teaching, for kids who may be trauma victims and whose families are in low socio-economic income brackets. The Miracle University model has been presented as a blueprint for eliminating the dropout crisis in books and documentaries presented to 100,000 educators across the world.

"Every social dilemma is tied to the dropout crisis, from homicides in Chicago, homelessness in Los Angeles, poverty in South Philadelphia to skyrocketing prison rates," contends Dr. Rajagopal. "My wish is that the national media will realize that every single social crisis is all connected to the dropout crisis. But this situation could be resolved if there were literally no more dropouts."


Miracle University is a Charter Academy High School in Sacramento, California, dedicated to saving EVERY student putting them on a path to become Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers, Professionals, Blue Collar Workers, and every professional available to students that are not from the inner city. Our graduates receive admission to colleges and career technical schools. We value every student that walks through our doors. It is our mission to teach them to value themselves and make the impact in their own lives. To learn more visit


Dr. Kadhir Rajagopal

SOURCE: Miracle University

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