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Report Shows Improvement In State Dropout Rate

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 22 Aug 2013 07:08am | comments
Photo courtesy of Flickr account of j.o.h.n. walker

New data being released today shows that Mississippi schools are improving their graduation and dropout rates.  Despite the gains, huge achievement gaps still exist.

 The newest data from the Mississippi Department of Education shows that the graduation rate climbed nearly two percentage points while the drop out rate fell by about the same amount.

 Rachel Canter with the education think tank Mississippi First says the improvement in the graduation rate is a good sign.

"That number has increased slightly. So this year it looks like it is about 75.5%. It is up a couple of points from where it was in the past. This is obviously important improvement. It is always good to have a higher gradation rate, but we are not making as much progress as maybe we should be making at this point," Canter said.

 However, the results continue to show a big gap between how White Mississippi students fare compared to Black students.

 Canter says black students, especially males, are fare more likely to not graduate with a diploma or drop out.

 "So if we look at the dropout rate for, say, black males we see it is about 22% this year. Versus the drop out rate for white students which is only 10%," Canter said.

 Perry County is one of the districts that saw an increase in its four year graduation rate, rising from 69 to 71 percent.

 Superintendent Scott Dearborn says it is a constant challenge to keep up with the state average.

"Regardless of whether we agree with it or not or students and schools are judged based on what they do on this test. That is the hand that has been dealt to us. Your school is going to get labeled by how they do on these test. And they rose up tot he challenge," Dearborn said.

 The State also released data for all the standardized tests Mississippi students take, down to the by school level.

 This information is about to undergo a dramatic transformation over the next two years as more rigorous Common Core standards come on line.





Photo courtesy of Flickr account of j.o.h.n. walker



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