Many states have raised the compulsory school attendance age to 17 or 18, anticipating that a reduction in dropout, truancy, and discipline problems will more than compensate for the higher costs of educating students longer. This review examines the evidence on whether a higher compulsory school attendance age results in improved student outcomes.
Against this background, this review addresses the following research questions:
What changes have occurred in dropouts, truancy, and disciplinary actions in states that raised their compulsory school attendance age during 2002–11?
What broader social outcomes have been identified in studies using national datasets?
How have these states measured changes in these expected outcomes?