Southern States Lead the Way in Reducing National Dropout Rate

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More freshmen teens in Georgia and other southern states are going on to graduate, which has helped improve the national dropout average.

The number of “dropout factories” – high schools where less than 60 percent of freshman actually graduate – went down from 2,007 to 1,746 between 2002 and 2008, according to a Johns Hopkins report out today called Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic.

Here’s the picture in Georgia. In 2002, 156 high schools were considered dropout factories. Things improved in 2008 with the number dropping to 120 schools. The report credits Georgia’s commitment to working with high-risk students by assigning a graduation coach to every single high school and middle school.

The report makes several other recommendations including:

  • Provide more rigorous instruction to motivate students to learn.
  • Use data to get an accurate picture of students who dropout.
  • Assign adult advocates to students at risk of dropping out.
  • Provide academic support to improve school performance.

Other southern states with significant dropout factory declines are Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana.

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