Many anti-immigration spokes-people (self-appointed and otherwise) insist that our education system is a draw for illegal immigrants and that our free k-12 immigration system serves as a magnet. New statistics might make them want to rethink that rhetoric.

According to the DC Examiner, 1 out of 4 Hispanic students drops out high school before graduation. New methods of tracking students have allowed jurisdictions to refine their drop out rates. While Arlington, Alexandria and Prince William have the worst Hispanic drop-out rates, Fairfax doesn’t lag too far behind.

Northern Virginia dropout rates for the class of 2008:

Alexandria — 11 percent
Arlington County — 9 percent
Fairfax County — 6 percent
Falls Church — 0 percent
Loudoun County — 3 percent
Prince William County — 10 percent

Source: Virginia Department of Education
NOTE: The above table shows dropout rates for ALL students.

The data track for the first time the path of students who entered high school in 2004 as they progressed through graduation. The previous measure divided total dropouts by total students in grades nine through 12, resulting in lower and less accurate percentages. Maryland districts are about two years away from similar data, and the District of Columbia will have the data in four years.
“This is a milestone in our reporting,” said Virginia Superintendent Patricia Wright, adding that it holds schools accountable for every student.

But it revealed some ugly truths about local districts.

In Alexandria and Arlington and Prince William counties, almost 25 percent of Hispanic students dropped out of school and did not enroll elsewhere between 2004 and 2008. Fairfax County fared little better with a rate of 22 percent.

“That’s way too many students to not be finishing in a society that requires, at a minimum, that individuals have a high school diploma,” said Kathy Wills, director of planning and evaluation for Arlington County Public Schools.

While the data will not ever clearly define which of these students are here legally and which are not, because schools collect no information on status, it only stands to reason that part of these student dropping out are probably out of status because their parents are out of status.

What are possible causes of this phenomena? Is it different that other waves of immigrant groups? How does this dropout rate affect our discussions of future ‘Dream Acts?’ Is there a demographic that disaggregates the data even further, such as by gender or country of origin and would it even matter?

131 Thoughts to “Hispanics Face Highest High School Drop Out Rates in NoVA”

  1. ShellyB

    Michael, there is a big difference between identifying someone after they have been arrested for a crime, vs. checking everyone who “looks illegal” when you see them on the streets. We had good reason to be outraged by that. Even if you yourself do not “look illegal,” this is a violation of our Constitution. And as Americans we should seek to protect the Constitution, the document on which our nationhood is founded.

    As for redirecting funds to address the needs of the student body as the student body changes, I don’t see the problem with that. Even if some of the changes in the student body are due to immigration from non-English speaking countries.

  2. michael

    4.16%% of what demographic ShellyB? The asian demographic, the black demographic, the hispanic demographic, the Australian demographic?

    This 4.19% of SERIOUS CRIME represents a baseline between “illegal” people and non-illegal people SERIOUS CRIME ONLY, and yes you got it, they do represent 3.92% percent of our total population, but the crime rates are higher than 3.92% by demographic proportion. In other words, non-illegals represent 96% Percent of our population. If MORE THAN 96.07% of “non-illegal” people committed these crime in the Chief’s statistics, you can’t blame a LARGER crime statistic on “illegals” BUT IN ALL the casees I calculated above, LESS than 96.07% of the cases reported were committed by “non-illegals” and MORE than 3.92% of the cases reported were commitrted by “illegals”. This means the demographics of numbers of illegal people more often committed these crimes than “non-illegals” and that is the truth hidden by ethnic group advocates, but the truth is in the numbers.

  3. IVAN

    Michael, “We need to deport them, and not waste our limited tax resurces on people who do not deserve to be here in the first place.” Do you really think it would cost less to deport every illegal than it would be to provide the resources our schools need? Let’s see, we round up every “brown face”, determine their status, go through all the legal processes (law suites, ACLU complaints etc.)then put them on a plane back to their home country. Not gonna happen!!!

  4. michael

    SHELLYB, WE don’t KBOW HOW MANY LATINOS commited crimes compared to Asians or Whites or Blaqcks as a proportion of the total population, BECAUSE WE DON’t measure it. It is POSSIBLE that MORE Latinos commit crimes than Non-Latinos, and thus that causes the “looks”, but we only measure “illegal people, not LATINOS in crime statistics.

    A better crime correlation in my opinion that eliminates this whole uncertaintly is to simply ENFORCE THE LAW on everyone the same (you are legal or you are illegal) regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity, and no-one will care what demographic commits more or less than another.

    Most of you can’t do this because you favor Hispanic political action and advocacy over fair and equitable law enforcement…AND THAT IS RACISM.

  5. michael

    It cost nothing IVAN to deport people by never giving tham a green card, never giving them a driver’s license, never giving them a break from being arrested by the law and never hiring them if they can’t prove they are “legal”. They WILL go home over time. That is my concept of “DEPORT THEM”, make them pay for the tickets themselves, they ALL HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO GET HERE, enough to send to relatives back home, AND ENOUGH MONEY TO PAY to GET BACK HOME, SO FINE THEM FOR THE PRICE OF THE TICKET and SEE them off on the plane (charge that labor cost to them too). Who ever said the US government had to pay for someone elses crime? I didn’t as a taxpayer.

  6. michael

    ShellyB you have bought into the lie that the majority of police officers arrest people for what they “look like”. That is liberal hype, the original resolution made it MANDATORY to ask people what their legal status was REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEY LOOKED LIKE. EVERYONE WAS TO BE ASKED if stopped for some other offense. As it is now officers CAN USE WHAT PEOPLE LOOK LIKE IF THEY CHOOSE TO, but thier guidance is to use reasonable suspicion of BEHAVIOR that is evidence of “illegality”.

    Racial profiling was made up by liberals using racist practices themselves to protect the hispanic minority from deportation and the law.

  7. michael

    Ivan you are mixing “illegality” with race and ethnicity in your comment above, go back and take ethnicity out of your thoughts.

  8. michael

    You too ShellyB, as I see you have difficulty removing ethnicity favoritism from your thoughts as well. When you do it will make a whole lot more sense to you. If you can’t, then welcome to 1950’s style white racism in how you favor hispanics, and harm Asians, Whites and Blacks. In the 1950s, they only gave white kids the most funding for education. If you give only ESOL kids the most money, and not money to ALL “low income” kids regardless of race, you are guilty of New American racism.

  9. IVAN

    Michael, if they don’t apply for a drivers liscense or get arrested then what? BTW, the issue of ethnicity was brought up along time ago by people on your side of discussion i.e. “brown faces at the bus stop”.

  10. ShellyB

    But Michael, a lot of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Muslim Americans stood up against police officers to “use what people look like if they choose to.” That was because the people who looked illegal would get different treatment from the rest of us. We’re all supposed to get equal treatment under the law. It wouldn’t be fair to have some of us stopped on our way to work or the grocery store and others not stopped because they look more “American” in the eyes of a police officer.

    I’m not saying that this is what Chief Deane would ever allow. But it really did sound like that was the letter of the law for a few months. And it wasn’t just minorities who objected anyway. A lot of us just didn’t like it because we believe in equality and the Constitution as definers of who we are as Americans.

  11. ShellyB

    correction: police officers BEING TOLD to “use what people look like if they choose to.”

  12. ShellyB

    Ivan, that’s very true. But thank goodness the true racists don’t come on this blog anymore. Rick, Michael, and others are trying to sort out the issue and separate themselves from the true racists. But so many of the talking points that defined the “issue” came from white supremacist think tanks, so it’s really hard to do that. For all of us.

  13. michael

    Ask Chief Dean…What percentage of his officers are doing or have EVER done racial profiling ShellyB.

    His answer will be 0%. In reality it may be 0.01%

    Racial profiling and advocacy by race is a liberal hype technique to get special priviliges for Hispanics by Hispanics, or any other ethnic group that is trying to evade the law for racial advantage.

  14. michael

    The VAST majority of those people only “imagine” and “assume” they are getting different treatment, whenin reality and B&Y LAW they are not. I see this racial behavior all the time in minority groups trying to segregate themselves from the masses.

    Who is right Chief Dean (0.001% or one out of 1000 of his officers committing racial profiling) or the ethnic favoritism displayed by racial and ethnic groups?

    Your arguments about “racial profiling” being widespread don’t hold water to reality.

  15. michael

    All you have to do to “define the issues” correctly regardless of what comes out of some political think tank, is stop using race, gender, religion and ethnicity in your language, and start using LAW and “individuals” in your analysis.

    A classic mistake was recently made by the President in this very same area, telling Hispanics they have been “left behind” and deserve special funding, when in reality they have “low income” when the y came into the country and still have low income, just as LOW as the poor “low income” people in Ohio, Michigan, New York, etc who deserve every bit as much “left behind money to help them as ANYONE ELSE, regardless of what race, gender, religion or ethnicity they are from. The problem with this approach (racial and protected class approach) is you harm “innocent individuals” when you focus ONLY on RACE and ethnicity as discrimminators for WHO NEEDS HELP. You have to remove these concepts from your language in order to be fair and honest to everyone the same.

    This includes law enforcement by law enforcement officers on “illegals”.

  16. michael

    ShellyB if you truely believe in equality and the constitution you will not use RACE, RELIGION, GENDER or ETHNICITY in your legicon for who deserves HELP. THe constitution and LAW only cares about “low income”, middle income and high in come people ALL treated as individuals, never by class or social demographic. That is WHY the supreme court rules that equal opportunity based on individual rights is LEGAL and “equal outcomes, racial numbers balancing and preferences to minorities is “NOT LEGAL”. “Equal outcomes” is unfair and discriminatory to ALL low income people as much as it is to high income people.

  17. michael

    correction: police officers BEING TOLD to “use what people look like if they choose to.”

    ShellyB, police officers were never told this by anyone, just ask Chief Dean. They were only told to mandatorily ASK EVERYONE.
    That’s when hispanc activists jumped to protect their own race and ethnicty from the law and law enforcement, and made up stories of racial profiling. Hispanic activism, by definition, is its own form of ethnic racism.

  18. ShellyB

    I’m confused by this, but I’m pretty sure they were never told to check everyone.

  19. michael

    Read the original rsolution if you are confused, the language is changed from “mandatory at all stops” to discretion of the officer at all stops and mandatory check once arrested. The proof is in the document, you can read it.

    What is false is the politics and claims of “racial profiling” that were thrown around and misinformation thrown around politically to protect hispanics by hispanic advocacy groups from police action and lawfulness.

  20. michael

    Hispanic advocacy groups intentionally told “illegal” people they could refuse to cooperate with the police as a constitutional right, and supported policy that prevented police officers from identifying “illegal” immigrants at all stops and arresting them.

    That is racial preference advocacy, because the hispanic advocacy groups who operate ILLEGALLY in this country specifically did not separate out “legal” hispanics from “illegal” hispanics. Other ethnic groups had no news making complaints or disagreement with the resolution, especially Asians, Whites and Blacks. It was a racial issue only to specific ethnic groups claiming they were being racially profiled, when in reality they were not accoding to the VAST majority of Chief Dean’s officers.

  21. michael

    That is also why Hispanic advocacy groups are reporting 25% of all Hispanics are “drop outs” rather than focusing on all drop outs regardless of race or ethnicity and by not seperating out “illegal” drop out rates. They as the usual racists they are, are once again attempting to make the ARRA recovery money a racial entitlement issue, and do not care about ALL “low income” people. This is because they want special preference for funding to go only to hispanic ethnicities and no-one else. Such racism hurts ALL “low income” individuals.

  22. DB

    I wish the overall (not just Hispanic) drop out rates could be broken down into more categories. For instance, what percentage of the students that comprise the overall drop out rate included teenage mothers? What percentage of the Hispanics were foreign born vs US born? What percentage of all the students who dropped out fall into the Fed “disadvantaged” category? How many of them were considered SPED? How many of them were considered ESOL? How many years did the typical drop out spend in HS before dropping out? How many SOLS did the typical drop out fail prior to deciding to drop out? What is the average educational attainment of the parents of the student who dropped out? How many of the students were emancipated when they dropped out? How many of the students dropped out b/c they realized they would not achieve the credits required in math and or english to receive a general ed diploma? etc.

  23. ShellyB

    But Michael, the original Resolution never saw the light of day. John Stirrup amended it himself before it was ever voted on. So our Police Officers were never told to check everyone in sight. Anyway, I like where we ended up: check everyone arrested for an actual crime. They’re sitting in jail anyway so a clerk could do it instead of a police officer who we need to be out there to protect and serve.

  24. Moon-howler

    Michael, I do not plan on running any of the posts past anyone. If you don’t care for the subject matter, please just do not read them. This blog was started orginally to discuss immigration issues as they relate to PWC.

    I believe that the hispanic drop out rate does pertain to immigration and the immigratin issue. You are perfectly free to think I am a racist if you please. However, I don’t generally speak to people who feel that way about me, so letting you know in advance why I will not be responding to you.

  25. JustinT

    Michael, the BOCS changed the FAIR Resolution so that it was fiscally responsible, or at least more so. Checking everyone would have been impossible if we still expected the police force to do any crime prevention in addition to federal immigration checks. You see, FAIR is an anti-immigrant hate group. They don’t care about the bottom line in PWC. So they wrote a Resolution for us that would have killed us in 10 ways. Then the Board revised it so it would only kill us in 8 ways and voted it across. I still don’t get it.

  26. DB

    By the way MH you as a white person could never be racist against an Hispanic person for the very real fact that “hispanic” is an ethnic designation, and hispanic is NOT a race. Hispanic individuals are a part of the Caucasian race. There are only three races that make up the world…mongoloid, africanoid, and caucasion. And really the majority of us are nothing but mutts. There is no such thing as an Hispanic race. Ethnicity sure, but race no. Even the native americans are closer related to the mongoloid race than they are any other. The whole aurgument of race as determined by skin color is anthropologically incorrect.

  27. DB

    spell check…argument

  28. Moon-howler

    Thanks DB. I am just arriving again and trying to not only figure out what I am but how the thread got changed.

  29. JustinT

    I have no problem with statistics on how many Hispanics drop out of high school, or with M-H for talking about it. If you look at the big picture, anything we can do to improve our education system helps everyone: the whole society. We need this kind of data to best serve the students. As Obama has said, we can’t compete in the global economy if our schools are failing the Americans of tomorrow.

  30. Moon-howler

    The VA Department of Education is not an Hispanic advocacy group. By law, (NCLB) Hispanics are a minority and must be accounted for. Just racist old me clarifying here.

  31. Kylee dutch

    hey i have a freind who dropped out and is getting a ged the army people are letting her join she seems fine about it

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