Twitter logo An icon denoting a twitter profile name or link to Twitter LinkedIn logo An icon denoting a LinkedIn profile or link to LinkedIn Facebook logo An icon denoting a Facebook profile or link to Facebook YouTube logo An icon denoting a YouTube profile or link to YouTube RSS Icon Facebook Icon Google Plus Icon Twitter Icon Instagram Icon YouTube Icon LinkedIn Icon Pinterest Icon Vine Icon Tumblr Icon Telephone An icon of a telephone representing phone numbers Checkmark An icon of a checkmark External Link An icon denoting a link to an external website Email An icon denoting a mailto: link Download An icon denoting a download link Menu Options An icon denoting a dropdown menu Menu Icon File Link An icon denoting a link to a report or file Back Arrow An icon denoting a link back to a parent section Next Icon Previous Icon Search Icon Play Icon Play Icon (Alternate) Academic Assistance Icon Academic Difficulties Icon Advocate Icon Basic Needs Icon Behavioral Interventions Icon Bullying Icon College and Career Prep Icon Enrichment Icon Family Engagement Icon Health Care Icon Incareration Icon Life Skills Icon Mental Health Icon Neglect Icon Physical Health Icon Service Learning Icon Memorial Giving Icon Planned Giving Icon Workplace Giving Icon Stocks and Assets Icon Corporations Icon Foundations Icon Donate Icon Volunteer Icon

New National Report Highlights Unexpected Reasons Why Students Drop Out of School

By Communities In Schools May 13, 2014



Arlington, Va. - May 14, 2014 -   Communities In Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest organization dedicated to keeping kids in school and helping them succeed in life, today released a national report along with 24 local and state reports, demonstrating the unexpected reasons why kids drop out of school, and highlighting what CIS does to help them overcome these obstacles and make it to graduation.   

The report, “Changing the Picture of Education in America,” sheds new light on last month’s U.S. Department of Education report announcing the highest graduation rates in history. Operating in 26 states and the District of Columbia, CIS works with 1.3 million kids in grades K-12. Ninety-six percent of 12th graders who were served by CIS graduated last year, according to the new report, many of whom were high-risk and not likely to graduate otherwise. 

The CIS report also comes days before the nation marks the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision this Saturday. 

“Even though 80 percent of students in the U.S. are graduating, that still leaves more than one million students – disproportionately poor, African American and Hispanic – with  no cap, no gown and no opportunity,” said Dan Cardinali, president of Communities In Schools. “Today’s education landscape is anything but equal. Until we take a long, hard look at the invisible 20 percent who drop out, we can never make good on Brown’s promise of equal opportunity for all.”

The report highlights unexpected reasons those one million kids drop out of school each year including hunger, inadequate medical care, lack of reliable transportation and the need for warm, clean clothes and shoes. The lack of these basic necessities can make it impossible for students to focus on the academic subjects required for graduation and a productive adulthood. 

CIS partners with schools and their communities to mobilize resources and deliver integrated supports to students so they can focus on learning. The majority of CIS case-managed students in 2012-13 (the latest year for which statistics are available) were Hispanic or Latino (43%), followed by African-American (35%) and White (18%), and nearly all (92%) were eligible for free or reduced-priced lunch.  

Today’s report also profiles two seniors, Rackeem Miller and Terin Valentine, who will be graduating this spring with the help of CIS. 

Rackeem Miller, a senior at John Dickinson High School in Wilmington, Del., had a challenging family environment, resulting in behav¬ioral issues at school which led to a suspension. A faculty member referred Rackeem to the school’s CIS site coordinator, Ronnell Page, who got him back on track. “I probably wouldn’t be in school right now if it wasn’t for Mr. Page,” said Rackeem. “I had given up on myself.”

Terin Valentine, a senior at Cardozo High School in Washington, D.C., was often absent because he didn’t have a reliable way to get to school. Terin’s CIS site coordinator, Jason McCrady, arranged transportation for Terin, and provided him with ongoing counseling to cope with a difficult situation at home. “The simplest things that many of us take for granted can be major obstacles in these students’ lives,” said McCrady.  Not only has his attendance picked up, but Terin’s GPA has improved, and he’s now an editor of the school newspaper and plans to go to college next year.  

In addition to the Changing the Picture of Education reports released today, PSA’s created by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris and renowned photographer David Harriman are also running around the country, featuring CIS students who have overcome tremendous obstacles in order to graduate. The PSA’s are running right now on a billboard in Times Square, in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal, in smaller newspapers and on TV stations nationwide.     

Beginning May 19, Communities In Schools will begin spearheading an online celebration of graduations around the country through real-time social media interactions. More information about this can be found    

# # #

About Communities In Schools

Communities In Schools (CIS) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering at-risk students to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. Working directly inside more than 2,300 schools across the country, we connect kids to caring adults and community resources designed to help them succeed. We do whatever it takes to ensure that all kids—regardless of the challenges they may face—have what they need to realize their potential.