Dropout is a casual term widely used to describe school noncompletion and school noncompleters. It is a problematic term because it is both incomplete, meaning it does not fully describe what it portends to describe, and because it is in some cases misleading, meaning it indicates that the onus of school noncompletion is only on the student. Dropout is shaped by and shapes dynamics of race and class in the United States; there is a disproportionate distribution of school noncompletion across diverse groups, and school non-completion bears significant economic, health, employment, and other life consequences that contour persistent inequities. School dropout has been a social concern since the latter half of the 20th century, and continues to trouble educators, policymakers, communities, and families. Perhaps because ...

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