U.S. Dropout Picture Is Grim, Report Says

AP, October 24, 2008

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More than half the states have graduation targets that don’t make schools get better, the Education Trust says in a report released Thursday in Washington.

One in 4 kids is dropping out of school, a rate that hasn’t budged for at least five years. Among minorities, more than 1 in 3 drop out.

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The U.S. is the only industrialized country where youths are less likely than their parents to earn a diploma, the report says, citing data compiled by the international Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

High schools are required to meet graduation targets every year as part of the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind Act. But those targets are set by states, and most states allow schools to graduate low percentages of students by saying that any progress, or even the status quo, is acceptable.

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