Skip to Main Content

High School Dropout


The percentage of public school students, grades 9-12, who withdrew from school before graduation or before completing a Maryland-approved educational program during the July to June academic year and who are not known to have enrolled in another high school program during the academic year.


 Percentage of Public High School Students, Grades 9-12, who Drop out of School, by Academic Year
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
MD 3.8% 3.6% 3.6% 3.5% 3.4% 2.8% 2.5% 3.2%  3.5% 3.0%

Data Source: Data compiled by the Maryland State Department of Education

Story Behind the Data:

In Maryland, local school systems have data on the reasons why students drop out of school.  These often include mobility, lack of interest, and disciplinary reasons.  From 2012 to 2013, the percentage of public high school students who dropped out of high school decreased from 3.5% to 3.0%.  In 2013, Maryland was roughly on par with the national average in the measurement of teens ages 16 to 19 not in school and not high school graduates.

In order to address this issue, MSDE has produced the Dropout Prevention Resource Guide.  This guide, the first of its kind in the United States, highlights evidence-based programs and lists local school systems’ dropout prevention programs and initiatives.  In many cases, dropouts have been suspended before they leave school.  As a result, MSDE engaged in discipline reform in 2013 and the Maryland State Board of Education adopted The Maryland Guideline for a State Code of Discipline in July 2014.

Systemically, school-based interventions begin with Student Support Teams.  These school-based teams of educational professionals meet monthly to discuss students who are struggling to maintain academics, behavior, and attendance.  Student Support teams identify school-based strategies to help students become successful.  If students remain unsuccessful, they are referred to Pupil Personnel Workers (PPW).  Local School Systems utilize their PPWs to support students at-risk for dropout.  PPWs provide supports to families and students through case management on student attendance, behavior, and performance.  Moreover, PPWs can identify and connect services for a student through State or local agencies.

Additional Information: