The Dropout Divide for Students with Special Needs

The Washington Post blogged about a recent report conducted by Raise DC, a coalition of public, private and nonprofit groups, on the state of the dropout crisis in Washington D.C. The report stated that approximately 40 percent of students in D.C. do not graduate in four years, which makes D.C.’s graduation rate one of the lowest in the nation.

The most poignant finding from the report was the identification of two early risk factors that make it more likely for a student to drop out of school

  • Students in need of special education support
  • Students in need of English language services

However, Raise DC reported that these risk factors are indicative of what is happening across the country, not just in D.C.

The report even further breaks it down into disability type, finding those students with speech or language delays the most likely to graduate and those with emotional disabilities or intellectual disabilities the least likely.

Source: District of Columbia Graduation Pathways Project Summary by Raise DC
Source: District of Columbia Graduation Pathways Project Summary by Raise DC

Students entering high school with limited English abilities are severely at-risk for dropping out. So how can we fix this? D.C. Public Schools is hoping to battle these students’ 50-50 chance of graduating by creating the Cardozo Education Campus, a new international academy designed to give students with English language needs extensive language support while completing grade-level work.

What about those students in need of special education services? Districts around the country — particularly those in rural, urban and low income areas — struggle to find the high quality therapists that students need, but online therapy services like those PresenceLearning provides can help. For more information about our online speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior interventions and assessments, check out our Product Tour.