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Teens spend a significant amount of their life in school, and their educational experience can impact the force of their life. Here are some facts and statistics pertaining to the school life of American teenagers.

Teen education statistics

Many teachers report that parents are their worst enemy in doing their job, and some report that they give C’s or D’s rather than a failing grade in order to avoid confrontation with parents. (Walsh, 2007)

Around one in 3 students fail to graduate with their class.

FACT: Self-discipline is twice as important as intelligence in predicting academic success.  (Duckowrth & Seligman, 2005)

In 2009, 68% of eight grades were below proficient in math, and 69% scored the same in reading. (Ripley, 2010)

Things that matter for college admissions

According the National Association for College Admission Counseling, final grades were cited by 69% of colleges that revoked admission offers in 2007; disciplinary problems accounted for 25%. (Mamlet & VanDevelde, 5-7-09) Some of the most common slip-ups that could affect college admission:

  • A significantly lower grade in one or more courses.
  • A decline in overall GPA.
  • Dropped academic courses.
  • Abandoning extracurricular activities, such as a sports team or music lessons.
  • Disciplinary action.
  • Academic misconduct, including cheating or plagiarism.
  • Increased absences or tardiness.
  • Suspension for drug or alcohol use.

A recent study found that 76% of high school graduates “were not adequately prepared academically for first-year college courses. (Klein, 2011)

What teens think about school

The top 6 qualities that teens say makes for a great teacher:

  1. Explains things clearly: 70%
  2. Funny & entertaining: 47%
  3. Helpful: 40%
  4. Patient: 32%
  5. Understanding: 23%
  6. Passionate about their subject: 22%

(Source: Aventa Learning Survey of 500 students ages 13 to 17; USA Today, 6-22-2010, p. 10)

43% of kids overall said they felt no connection to even a single adult at school, which is a problem in itself.  (Source: Tyre, 2010)

A child’s experience at school


Statistics on high school dropouts

  • Across the nation, 1.2 million kids drop out of school each year (around 7,000 a day!)
  • 6,000 teens drop out of school every day. Some states use systems that allow them to report better graduation rates than is actually the case. New Mexico, for instance, claims 85%. True numbers are more around 54%. The United States is the only industrialized country where children are less likely to earn high-school diplomas than their parents. (USA Today, 11-3-08)
  • A 2006 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Survey found that only 35% of dropouts said they struggled academically; the others were either bored, felt high school was a waste of time, had social issues either at school or at home, or dropped out for other reasons.

FACT: High school drop outs make around $19,000 a year, and will be out earned by their peers who graduate by $1 million over the course of a lifetime. They are nearly 4 times as likely to be arrested, and 8 times as likely to be incarcerated.

  • Boys account for 3 out of every 5 high school student who dropout. (Biddle, 6/29/2011)

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