The Urban Review

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 551–570 | Cite as

Dropout Prevention and the Model-Minority Stereotype: Reflections from an Asian American High School Dropout

  • Jade WexlerEmail author
  • Nicole Pyle


A recent review of the research by the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences has resulted in the recommendation of six promising practices to ensure that all students are actively engaged in school and on a path to post-secondary success (Dynarski et al. in Dropout prevention: A practice guide (NCEE 2008–4025)). The purpose of this study was to explore the experience and perspective of an Asian American high school dropout and the extent to which his story aligns with dominant thinking, including the six recommended dropout prevention practices and the model minority myth (MMM) of Achievement Orientation, a common belief that Asian Americans exhibit greater success than any other minority ethnic group. The adolescent dropout was interviewed on eight occasions. Findings revealed that the MMM may have contributed to the lack of intervention provided to this student and that the most worthwhile recommendations from his perspective include: assigning adult advocates to at-risk students, the use of a systematic data-tracking system to target and individualize interventions, and the ability of the school to provide academic support and a personalized learning environment.


Dropout Prevention Intervention Engagement 



This article was supported in part by Grant R324A100022 from the Institute of Education Sciences, Grant R324B080008 from the Institute of Education Sciences Postdoctoral Research Training Program, and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Institute of Education Sciences or The Meadows Center.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special EducationUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.School of Teacher Education and LeadershipUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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