Examinig Inter-Personal Relationships that May Influence the High Dropout Rate of Hispanic Males
Figueroa, Wanda Isabel
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The Hispanic population in the United States has increased exponentially in the past 10 years. As many Hispanics enter the United States and the public education system, far too many do not graduate. During the 2010 -2011 school year, the total enrollment of Hispanics in grades 9th through 12th in Texas was 652,154, making up 47% of the student population (Texas Education Agency [TEA], 2012). School accountability dropout reports show that over a thirty-six year span (1972-2008), the percentages of Hispanic dropouts ages 16-24, are consistently higher than those of African American and Caucasians (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2010). This study was a qualitative analysis of data derived from a series of focus group sessions conducted in a large urban school district in Texas. The four focus groups included school administrators, high school teachers, mothers of Hispanic males who dropped out of school, and Hispanic male dropouts. Each group was asked a series of open-ended questions to explore the reasons behind the dropout rate of Hispanic males. Each session was audio taped, transcribed, and systematically organized into themes. Six common themes emerged from the analysis. All four focus groups identified parent involvement, employment, relationships, motivation, interpreters, and grades as contributors to the issue of Hispanic males dropping out of the school. The results provide school leaders suggestions on developing interventions to improve high school graduation rates for Hispanic males.