Dropping In On Dropouts

Last week my School of Thought at TIME.com was off eating turkey.  This week’s column is early, today rather than Thursday, because of today’s dropout report from America’s Promise, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins. SOT looks at the Grad Nation report and the dropout issue more generally:

High school graduation rates are one of education’s perennial bad-news stories. How bad? In 2008, there were 1,746 “dropout factories,” high schools that graduate fewer than 60% of their students. But according to a new report released Tuesday, there is finally some good news to talk about. First, the national graduation rate has inched up from 72% in 2001 to 75% in 2008. There were 261 fewer dropout factories in 2008 than in 2002. And during that six-year period, 29 states improved their graduation rates with two of them — Wisconsin and Vermont — reaching almost a 90% graduation rate.

But don’t call in the cast of Glee just yet. According to the report, by Johns Hopkins University along with two education-oriented groups, America’s Promise Alliance and Civic Enterprises, eight states had graduation rates below 70% in 2008, and 2.2 million students still attend dropout factories. An achievement gap also persists…

Read the entire thing here.

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