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Raise the Age, Lower the Dropout Rate? Considerations for Policymakers

Abstract

Through an examination of research and analysis of other states' policies, the Rennie Center examines the arguments for and against raising the compulsory age of school attendance to 18 and concludes that there is no credible empirical evidence to support this policy alone as an effective strategy to combat the dropout crisis. The Center argues that prior to considering a raise in the compulsory age of attendance, the Commonwealth should focus its energy and resources on developing policies and programs that research has shown to be successful in helping at-risk students stay in school and persist to earning a diploma.

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