An Examination of Dropout Rates for Hispanic or Latino Students Enrolled in Online K-12 Schools

August 15, 2016

As the number of online K-12 educational offerings continues to grow it is important to better understand key indicators of success for students enrolled in these classes. One of those indicators is student dropout rates. This is particularly important for Hispanic or Latino students who traditionally have high dropout rates. The purpose of this study was to better understand dropout rates for K-12 Hispanic or Latino students enrolled in online schools in Arizona. This was accomplished by examining the effects that the independent variables of time, school type (charter vs non-charter) and delivery type (blended vs fully online) have on dropout rates. A quantitative analysis of data from 32 online schools was performed. The results of this study show that dropout rates are indeed declining for the period of 2013–2015. This decline is mirrored by national dropout rates for all students and specifically for Hispanic or Latino students. While the declines are positive news, the dropout rates for Hispanic or Latino students are still among the highest measured. The dropout rate gap between other demographic groups and Hispanics or Latinos is still substantial and worth continued research along with efforts to reduce these dropout rates and foster increased student success.