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Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It Hardcover – September 12, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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The standard work on one of the most troubling challenges in U.S. education--beautifully written, authoritative, and insightful, covering everything from the causes of dropping out to effective solutions. (Henry M. Levin, Columbia University)

Dropouts have little future in the American economy, but about half of Latino and Black men are leaving school without the diplomas they need. Russ Rumberger has devoted his career to this issue and he powerfully documents the costs of dropouts to our society. This comprehensive book is an essential resource for reform. (Gary Orfield, University of California, Los Angeles)

Russ Rumberger has written the definitive book on school dropouts. His learned analysis leads to recommendations for action to address this crisis. (Jack Jennings, President and CEO, Center on Education Policy)

Russell Rumberger's Dropping Out is the most thorough and timely analysis now available of the complex causes and terrible consequences of dropping out of high school. Rumberger provides teachers, administrators, and policymakers with essential knowledge to address a continuing crisis. Dropping Out demonstrates again the necessity of education in an information age economy, and shows how increasing high school graduation rates will be essential for local, state, and national economic strength. (Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education)

[A] sobering look at one aspect of many crises facing U.S. schools. Drawing on both education policy and economics, [Rumberger] explores the cost of this crisis to the dropouts and American society in terms of higher unemployment, lower wages, and less of a contribution to the tax base. (Vanessa Bush Booklist 2011-10-15)

The most complete examination of the dropout issue I have ever seen [is] Russell W. Rumberger's Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It...Rumberger examines every complex nuance, summarizes every important research paper and demolishes every Internet myth. His book is a masterpiece, something education wonks will keep close by...We can't make any improvements, however, without knowing what hasn't helped dropouts, and why. On those vital questions, this book will be the best resource for years to come. (Jay Mathews Washington Post 2011-10-26)

[Dropping Out] is not only definitive, but positively masterful in its treatment of a vitally important subject...Russell Rumberger's prescriptions, if heeded, would be truly revolutionary. This fact alone should make this volume required reading for any serious student of school reform. His treatment is exhaustive, his writing style energizing, his message urgent and his analysis powerful. I recommend it highly. (A. Graham Down Education Next 2011-12-01)

The book is superb. It is erudite, scholarly, engaging, and provocative...[Rumberger] works his way patiently through the familial, organizational, and individual characteristics that influence dropping out. He then walks us through the nature, consequences, causes, and possible solutions...Rumberger calls upon all methodologies and various strands of programs to consider what possible solutions might look like. He is someone who is big on accountability, and consistent in the observation that systemic change will take time. He recognizes that students may drop out of a school, but much of the work to lessen dropping out will occur with families and in communities. (Bill Tierney 21st Century Scholar 2012-12-10)

About the Author

Russell W. Rumberger is Vice Provost for Educational Partnerships at the University of California Office of the President and Professor of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (October 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674062205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674062207
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. There is tons of data to reference and Rumberger does an excellent job of explaining all the tiny statistical details of the dropout rate in basic terms. It's easy-to-read, while providing tons of information on the dropout crisis.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have too much to read and not enough time to read everything that gets sent to me or seems interesting. There is no small amount of relief, if not joy, when a journal arrives or something is sent to me, and I realize after skimming it for 30 seconds that I can simply file or delete it. Sometimes, however, I have to read every sentence in a text not simply because it is well written but because the author has something to say. Sometimes, because my time is short, I find myself in the odd position of savoring every chapter of a book while at the same time cursing the author--why couldn't this book simply be half-baked so I could rush on to the next text? Consequently, for the last month or so, I've been muttering "Damn you, Russ Rumberger!"

Professor Rumberger of UC Santa Barbara has written a book on dropping out. The book is superb. It is erudite, scholarly, engaging, and provocative. The almost 400-page book is the work of a lifetime and is testimony to how a first-rate scholar builds his case for a vexing problem by calling on historical research, data sets from multiple methodologies, and research that spans over a generation.

If we want to increase college-going rates and improve college readiness we are going to have to deal with the continuing problem of high school dropouts. What we do, however, depends not simply on one or another strategy, but on the data we employ to understand those who drop out. Rumberger also makes a convincing case that we not only need to consider the causes of dropping out, but also the purposes of our schools. I can make a convincing case for "college for all." Rumberger can make a more convincing case that if "all" = 100% then we actually will contribute to dropping out.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliant book. It is brilliant because it is covers so many aspects of the very complicated issue of high school dropouts in enough detail to please an academic but presents that same research in very accessible, readable writing. If there is one "go-to book" on the subject, this is it. What I really appreciate about this book is that the author delivers on his promise to explain not only the nature of the dropout crisis but also includes research on why students drop out and examines the individual and social consequences of dropping out. I have read too many other books and articles about this topic that "overpromise." This book is a masterful examination of many aspects of the dropout issue.
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Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book. It is brilliant because it is covers so many aspects of the very complicated issue of high school dropouts in enough detail to please an academic but presents that same research in very accessible, readable writing. If there is one "go-to book" on the subject, this is it. What I really appreciate about this book is that the author delivers on his promise to explain not only the nature of the dropout crisis but also includes research on why students drop out and examines the individual and social consequences of dropping out. I have read too many other books and articles about this topic that "overpromise." This book is a masterful examination of many aspects of the dropout issue.
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