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High School Dropout Rate Crisis

If anything can be defined as a crisis, the current high school dropout rate statistics just might qualify. America’s Promise Alliance, founded by Colin Powell, released a report entitled Cities in Crisis, A Special Analytic Report on High School Graduation [PDF, 1.8 MB]. Overall, only seven in 10 high school student go on to graduate, even less go on to attend higher education.

The report provides data and does a good job of breaking down the differences between urban, town, rural and suburban dropout rates; it does not suggest causes or propose solutions. But how do school districts that have the highest dropout rates – as high as 75 percent in one city – compare to those with the lowest? How is the academic structure different? Does the city have a true school choice with a voucher program? Shouldn’t we review the political approach – liberal versus conservative – of these school districts? Read more