Cover: High School Graduation Rates in the United States and the Impact of Adolescent Romance

High School Graduation Rates in the United States and the Impact of Adolescent Romance

Published Feb 7, 2011

by Chung Pham

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This document reviews the controversy over the true high school graduation rate in the United States, provides a comprehensive review of the debate, discusses shortcomings of current methods, and proposes new methods that address those shortcomings. The author concludes that current methods that are widely used are flawed: High school graduation rates in the United States are well above 80 percent, with high racial disparity; the graduation rates for white and Asian students are around 85 percent, and the rates for Hispanic and African American students are around 70-80 percent. Moderate dating has a positive impact on college readiness and college enrollment; serious dating and early sex has a significant negative impact on graduation and college enrollment.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in December 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Nelson Lim (Chair), Bing Han, and Richard Buddin.

This publication is part of the RAND dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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