Thurgood Marshall’s High Dropout Rate Studied

Sarah Haughey, San Francisco Examiner, November 22, 2010

Only three black boys graduated from Thurgood Marshall Academic High School last year.

That staggering statistic led students Donel Finks, Angelica Escobar, Edgar Ulu, Fernando Torrez and Frank Nelson to explore the underlying factors that cause so many of their peers to drop out.

Their five-minute-long documentary–“Why So Low?”–was the winner of the high school division at this year’s My Hero International Film Festival, which celebrated its sixth anniversary Saturday.

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The group of five Thurgood Marshall students examined why the second-largest racial group at their school had the lowest graduation rates in “Why So Low?”

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They found that the dropout rate is largely due to a lack of resources rather than a lack of skills. Thirty percent of families in the area earn less than $10,000 a year, and local kids make up 27 percent of the youths in the juvenile system.

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Profile of Thurgood Marshall Academic High School, 2008–09.

713–Enrollment

24.7%–Percentage of students who are black

176–Number of black students

2.7%–Dropout rate for entire school

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