Even though many New York City high schools have fought to increase the number of graduates, they continue to be labeled "dropout factories."
Coined by Dr. Robert Balfanz of Johns Hopkins, a "dropout factory" is characterized as a school from which fewer than 60 percent of the students graduate in four years.
According to the report, in the United States, 1.3 million students from the class of 2010 didn't graduate from high school. Nearly 73,000 of these students were from New York City alone.
New York City's Department of Education has closed many schools labeled as "dropout factories" and targeted others, like Flushing High, for closure.
Robeson High School in Brooklyn is also on the shutdown list. However, teachers and students at that school think their school's characterization as a dropout factory is unfair.
Robeson is not the only school dealing with low graduation rates. The International High School at Prospect Heights is experiencing similar issues. According to reports students who speak English as a second language have a four-year graduation rate of less than 40 percent.
However Prospect Heights teacher Rosie Frascella also disagrees with the label "dropout factory."
"It's another cliche name. You know, I know what I do. I know about my job. I know, when I go home, I dream about my kids. I know I think about them. I know I spend at least 10 hours of my day working. I know we are doing whatever we can with the resources we have, and I have full confidence in my school," she said.
Anurima Bhargava, section chief of civil rights education in the Justice Department, believes providing students with this type of support and keeping them engaged are important factors.
"So the question is, how do we actually think about education as -- not as a factory and not as a place that -- where kids drop out, but as a place where we're actually figuring out what are their needs and how do we keep them there, all right? And that's going to be a very different model than what we have today in schools," she said.
This report was produced in partnership between WNYC Radio's after-school journalism program, Radio Rootz and the NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs.
For more information on Student Reporting Labs visit:
"Before, I was involved with drugs, and going out to parties, and fights, and stuff like that. And now it's going to school and getting my credits and graduating." - Fazya Bacchus, Flushing High School.
1. What is a drop out?
2. What does the term 'drop out factory' mean?
3. What is the dropout rate in your school?
1. Why do students typically drop out of school?
2. What is your school doing to keep students engaged in school?
3. Generally, what career options do high school dropouts have available to them?