Too many dropouts says Easley

 Outgoing Gov. Mike Easley told a group of business leaders yesterday that there are too many dropouts in the state.


Not that he was in a position to do anything about it for his two terms, right?

Coverage from today’s High Point Enterprise:” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. GUILFORD COUNTY – Dropout statistics show North Carolina high schools are not working and students know it, Gov. Mike Easley told a gathering of business leaders Wednesday.
This month, a new Alliance for Education report showed that 42,000 students didn’t graduate high school last year. “Many of these students know that high school will not get the job done for them,” Easley said during a North Carolina Chamber of Com­merce luncheon. “They know they need more.”
Easley agreed with business leaders par­ticipating in an earlier panel discussion that high school does not give students a link to high-tech jobs. Easley has sponsored Learn & Earn programs allowing high school graduates to earn a Community Col­lege associate’s degree if they stay in school a year longer.
“Then they can go to college on state and federal grants and get a degree debt free,” Easley said. “As these programs grow we may have the best prepared work force ever.” The state also has moved ahead to improve the business climate, Easley said, by shifting from traditional to diversified manufacturing.
“We are not nearly as stagnant as we were in 2000-02 when we had a $2.5 billion short­fall,” Easley said. “We could see a slight sur­plus.”
The business leaders also urged busi­nesses to support enrichment programs for students, teachers and school adminis­trators.
“We do have to have the superintendents committed to these programs,” Easley said. The state can win in economic develop­ment if it invests in knowledge, talent and skills, Easley said. “The winners will do that.”
The investments include boosted pre­school and literacy programs and increased teacher pay.


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E.C. )


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