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December 2, 2010

U.S. Schools Make Progress, But 'Dropout Factories' Persist


In the decade since educators launched a nationwide campaign to improve schools and stop students from dropping out, progress has been made, according to a new report, but more than 1 million public high school students failed to graduate with their class this year and 2 million attend so-called "dropout factory" schools where their chance of graduating is only 50-50.

Being able to read in third grade is an early indicator of whether a student will stay in school.

In the first half of the decade, at least one out of every four public high school students and almost 40 percent of minority students (defined as African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians) did not successfully graduate with their class. In 2008, the high school graduation rate was about 75 percent, a three-point increase from 2001.

Students can lose interest in school early, according to education experts. Studies show that you can tell who is most at risk for dropping out from third grade reading scores. Half of all low-income fourth-graders who could not read on grade level were put on a "drop out" track, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at December 2, 2010 4:13 AM
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