Community suggests ways to improve dropout rate (CP)

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This week’s Carolina Peacemaker has the details on the recent forum held at Smith High School on the state’s dropout prevention initiative.

Some excerpts:

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:4MdUs3z3k-5abM:http://www.theyoungdemocrats.com/Adams%2520Alma.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The N.C. Speaker’s House Initiative on Dropout Reform sponsored the public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 15. This was the legislative committee’s twelfth public hearing held throughout the state since April by Reps. Parmon, Alma Adams of Guilford County [pictured] and Susan Fisher of Buncombe County.
According to the N.C. State Department of Public Instruction (DPI), North Carolina high schools reported 22,180 students dropped out in 2005-06. The 5.04 percent dropout rate was an increase from the 4.74 percent rate reported from the previous academic year.
In Guilford County, 766 students dropped out for a rate of 3.41 percent in 2005-06. The previous year, 644 dropped out for a rate of 2.98 percent. Rates for the 2006-07 year have not yet been released by the state.

More:

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:U4CLxh1A5wEjBM:http://www.gcsnc.com/boe/images/quick.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Creating and furthering collaborative efforts between community-based groups and the school system was a common suggestion. “If school systems are not partnering with community-based agencies they’re missing a critical resource that can help to reach a lot of these kids who are at risk or have already dropped out,” said Guilford County Board of Education member, Amos Quick.
Quick also said the state needs to more accurately track students, be willing to try proven, innovative strategies, increase the construction and operation of non-traditional school environments and provide differentiated pay for educators and support staff.
“When we have to make decisions as to whether or not to cut those programs, it hurts our most fragile students the most,” said Quick.

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I have a novel idea…how about including parents as key stakeholders, recognizing them as true partners in this relationship and getting them more involved? What is the role of our PTAs in this?

One last quote:

Damon Williams, a parent and Smith High alumnus suggested creating an African-centered curriculum. “We have Spanish immersion schools, we have science and math schools, but nothing centered around an African perspective as it relates to history,” he said.
Tania Castillero Hoeller, program director of Latino Family Center encouraged the legislative committee to reach out to Latino families.

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E.C. 🙂

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