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Executive Summary

Student Behaviors and Afterschool Activities

Retention, Suspension, and Expulsion

According to parent reports, in 2009, some 13 percent of 9th-grade students had been retained in any of grades kindergarten through 9. In 2009, a higher percentage of males than females had been retained in any grade. Also, compared with their female peers, higher percentages of White, Black, and Hispanic male students had been suspended or expelled. For example, there was a difference of 18 percentage points between Black males and females on this percentage (42 vs. 24 percent).

Figure 3. Percentage of 9th-grade students who had ever been retained in any of grades kindergarten through 9, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2009

Student Safety at School

In 2009, some 8 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported that they had been threatened or injured with a weapon, 11 percent reported that they had engaged in a physical fight, and 23 percent reported that drugs were available to them on school property in the past 12 months. Six percent of students reported having carried a weapon to school on one or more of the past 30 days. Overall, males reported having each of these experiences at higher rates than females did. Among male students, a lower percentage of Whites were threatened or injured with a weapon (8 percent) than were Blacks (11 percent), Hispanics (12 percent), and persons of two or more races (14 percent). No measurable differences in the percentages of students carrying a weapon on school property were found among males by race/ethnicity: between 6 and 8 percent of males reported carrying a weapon on school property.

Student Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs

Concerning alcohol and other drugs, 19 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported having smoked a cigarette, 42 percent reported having drank alcohol, and 21 percent reported having smoked marijuana on one or more of the past 30 days. Six percent of students reported having ever used cocaine, 12 percent reported having ever used inhalants, and 4 percent reported having ever used methamphetamines. Overall, higher percentages of males than females reported having smoked marijuana in the past month, ever used cocaine, and ever used methamphetamines in 2009. In contrast, a higher percentage of females than males reported having ever used inhalants; there were no measurable differences in the overall percentage of males and females reporting the use of alcohol.

Homework

In 2007, according to parent reports, 93 percent of high school students in grades 9 through 12 did some homework outside of school. In addition, the parents of 65 percent of high school students checked to ensure that their homework was completed. The percentage of high school students whose parents checked for homework completion was higher for males than for females (68 vs. 61 percent). Checking for homework completion was more prevalent among the parents of Black males (86 percent) than among the parents of White (61 percent), Hispanic (74 percent), and Asian (58 percent) males and the parents of males of two or more races (66 percent).

Part-Time Employment

In 2010, about 17 percent of high school students ages 16 and older were employed. Several differences in employment rates were found by race/ethnicity and sex. White students had the highest rate of employment at 22 percent. Among White and Black students and students of two or more races, higher percentages of females than males were employed. The opposite pattern was observed for Asian students: 10 percent of Asian males worked, compared with 7 percent of Asian females.

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