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Zero Dropouts for California Research Summary

A summary of a research paper prepared in November 2007 that includes a discussion of dropout issues, recommendations, and a compendium of resources.

In November 2007, the Educational Options Office prepared a research paper and compendium of resources entitled Zero Dropouts for California (PDF). This paper contains information regarding the dropout crisis; recommendations for the State, counties, districts, and the California Department of Education; and an extensive bibliography of resources.


California and the nation are experiencing a dropout crisis. Resolving this crisis will not be simple; the problem is complex. There are many reasons why students drop out of school, and there is no one single solution—what works in one school may not work in another. Compiling and analyzing the research related to the causes and solutions to this problem are necessary to establishing effective dropout prevention, intervention, retention, and recovery programs. Every student in California, and the nation, deserves a quality education that leads to success.


Dropout prevention research is intended to provide policy makers with the information they need to establish policy and create effective dropout prevention, intervention, retention, and recovery programs that will enable all students in California to graduate from high school and be successful in their chosen careers.


The desired outcome is fully engaged students who are learning in the manner best suited to their needs. This will also result in:

  • Closing the achievement gap
  • Decreasing the dropout rate
  • Increasing the graduation rate
  • Students Served

The number of students impacted is unknown. What is known is that up to 30 percent of California’s students do not graduate each year. California’s alternative education programs and schools annually serve approximately a half a million students who are considered at risk of dropping out of school or are not successful in the traditional school environment.

Questions: Educational Options Office | | 916-323-2183 
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 7, 2022