Data analysis by Sandra Poindexter
About This Series
Students drastically limit their prospects by dropping out of high school. To understand why so many do, six Times reporters and two photographers spent eight months studying Birmingham High School in Van Nuys. Today's is the first of four stories on "The Vanishing Class."
Monday: Algebra — a formula for failure.
Friday: Fast friends — 11 started; three finished.
Saturday: The dropout industry.
On the Web
A photo gallery, a video report, a discussion forum and other multimedia features are available at latimes.com/dropouts. Use the Graduation Tracker to explore graduation rates and demographics for Los Angeles public high schools.
"Class of 2005," a segment of the news magazine "California Connected" produced in partnership with The Times, will air at 8:30 p.m. Friday on KCET in Los Angeles and at varying times that night on other PBS stations. For a complete broadcast schedule, go to http://www.californiaconnected.org .
This story was reported by Times staff writers Nancy Cleeland, Erika
Hayasaki, Duke Helfand, Mitchell Landsberg, Jean Merl and Joel Rubin. Doug Smith and Sandra Poindexter performed data analysis.