GOP Town Hall: Reality Check Team Inspects the ClaimsCarson is correct in stating that 20 percent of high school students don't graduate, but he left out some crucial context. The number of teens who drop out of high school has been on the decline over the past four years, according to a study released in November by the Alliance for Excellent Education. In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available, the dropout rate was 19.1 percent. In 2008, it was 25.3 percent. Although the difference may not sound dramatic, the report says the dropout rate was stagnant between 2001 and 2008, so the improvement in a four-year time window is notable.