Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

July 2016


Previous research has indicated that students permanently leave school for a number of reasons including low grades, overage, high absentee rate, behavior problems, pregnancy, work, family problems, or drugs/alcohol. While many of these factors are often described in nebulous terms, the purpose of this study was to examine specific academic factors within the classroom that lead up to students’ permanent departure from school, and to learn firsthand, from students who have dropped out of school.

The purpose of this study was to use qualitative in-depth interviews of students who had left school for academic reasons, to identify specific factors in the classroom that they believe contributed to their departure. We also wanted to examine what school personnel could do to prevent other at-risk students from leaving school.

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