NEWS ALERT: New Figures Show High Dropout Rate: Wash. Post

Fuzzy math again, folks.

Newly released data show the figures for high school dropouts are increasing around the country, especially when it comes to urban schools with a large concentration of minority males. This data was released during a summit yesterday in Washington that involved First Lady Laura Bush.

See this Washington Post story.

An excerpt:

First lady Laura Bush and national education leaders yesterday unveiled an online database that promises to provide parents across much of the nation the first accurate appraisal of how many students graduate from high school on time in each school system.

The statistics paint a dire portrait: Seventy percent of students nationwide earned diplomas in four years as of 2003, the latest data available nationally, a much lower rate than that reported by the vast majority of school systems. According to the database, Washington area graduation rates ranged from 94 percent in Loudoun and Falls Church to a low of 59 percent in the District, with most other systems falling in the 60s, 70s and low 80s.

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said the data show that half of the nation’s dropouts come from a small group of largely urban “dropout factories,” high schools “where graduation is a 50-50 shot or worse.” She scolded state and local education officials for masking the problem by publishing inflated graduation rates based on bad math.

“We are finally moving from a state of denial to a state of acknowledgment,” she said, speaking in Washington at a summit titled America’s Silent Epidemic. “It’s hard to believe such a pervasive problem has remained in the shadows for so long.”

E.C. 🙂

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