The Best of Our Knowledge
2:31 pm
Mon July 6, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 981

Albany, NY – "CITIES IN CRISIS 2009: CLOSING THE GRADUATION GAP", Pt. 1 -

Nationwide, nearly one in three U.S. high school students fail to graduate. That's more than 1-million students dropping out each and every year.

Among minority students, the problem is even more severe, with nearly 50% of African American and Hispanic students not completing high school on time.

"Cities in Crisis 2009: Closing the Graduation Gap" was prepared for America's Promise Alliance by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center. It shows that despite some progress made by a few cities in the past ten years, the average graduation rate of the 50 largest cities is well below the national average of 71%. And there remains an 18 percentage point urban/suburban gap.

Studies show that dropping out of high school impacts not just students and their families, but the country overall - including businesses, government, and communities. Estimates from just one year, the class of 2007, indicate that high school dropouts, for that year, will cost this country at least 330-billion dollars in lost wages, taxes, and productivity over their lifetimes. Authorities also indicate those who drop out are more likely to be incarcerated, rely on public programs and social services, and go without health insurance than those who graduate from high school.

TBOOK speaks with the President and CEO of America's Promise Alliance, Marguerite Kondracke.

Glenn Busby reports. (8:29)

**(Attention Listeners and Program Directors. For those seeking additional information about the above story, their website is: www.americaspromise.org.)**

DAILY LESSONS: INSIDE WESTERN GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL DOCUMENTARY SERIES, FINAL CHAPTER - DROPPING OUT -

As we've already heard in this program, teenagers are dropping out of school at the alarming rate of 1-million or more every year in the United States.

Although there are many reasons common to most dropouts, each story is truly unique.

Today, as we complete our documentary series from Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, we hear the tragic story of one young woman's struggle to remain in school and graduate.

Emily Hanford reports. (8:09)

EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -

As we reached our publishing deadlines for this show, the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center released some new findings for the class of 2006, called "Diplomas Count 2009."

This study indicated the first significant annual decline in graduation rates in more than a decade and rates for certain minority students were even lower.

On average, Asian students graduated at a rate of nearly 79%, compared to 76% for whites, 55% for Hispanics, 51% for African Americans, and 50% of American Indians. For each student group, the graduation rate for the class of 2006 was lower than the class of 2005.

In related news, another report, this one by the American Enterprise Institute, reveals that colleges and universities are failing to graduate a majority of their students in six years. Nationally, four-year colleges graduated an average of just 53% of entering students within that six year time frame.

Glenn Busby reports. (1:30)