April 3, 2008
April 3, 2008
(CNN Student News) -- April 3, 2008
High School Dropouts - Examine some of the surprising statistics on high school dropouts.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR:
Hello and welcome to this Thursday, April 3rd edition of CNN Student News. Glad to you've tuned in to check us out. I'm Carl Azuz. Let's get right to it.
First Up: High School Dropouts
First up today, we're gonna talk about the place where most of you are right now: Of course, that is school! We're not focusing on those of you who are in class; we're looking at the number of people who aren't. According to one organization, one American high school student quits school every 26 seconds. That means one person's already dropped out since the start of this show. It's just one of the shocking statistics about dropouts.
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In the U.S., where the literacy rate is 99 percent, how many high school students in the largest cities would you say graduate? 90 percent? 80 percent? Not even close. A new report says in 17 of the biggest U.S. cities, high school graduation rates are less than 50 percent. Less than half! Detroit: one in four; Indianapolis: three in ten; Cleveland: just over one in three.
A new report from America's Promise Alliance, an education group founded by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, found the news nationwide is a little better, with 70 percent of high school students getting a diploma. What we're seeing is a serious difference between graduation rates in some urban areas and ones in the suburbs. For example, though only about a third of Cleveland's municipal city students are estimated to graduate, the suburban graduation rate is 78.1 percent! In Baltimore city, an estimated 34.6 percent get diplomas; in Baltimore suburbs, more than 81 percent do. Info on dropout rates is kind of vague, so Education Secretary Margaret Spellings is moving to require all states to use the same formula to figure them, something they don't do now.
One thing we do know: About 1.2 million U.S. students drop out every year. Colin Powell calls that "a catastrophe." Now, we're not gonna preach to you about the moral of this story, just give you a few facts to think about: This study was based on school district info from 2003 to 2004. That year, 2004, people with graduate degrees made an average annual salary of about $78,000 dollars. College graduates averaged a little over $51,000 a year. And high school dropouts? $19,000. That was only about ten grand above the poverty line for 2004, something to consider if you're adding up the pros and cons of dropping out of school.
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