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Report Finds Increasing High School Graduation Rates and Fewer “Dropout Factories”

A new report from America’s Promise Alliance finds that the national high school graduation rate has improved and fewer schools have been labeled “dropout factories,” or schools that graduate less than 60 percent of students on time.

The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, states that the national graduation rate increased by 3.5 percent from 2001 through 2009 from 72 percent to 75.5 percent.

Texas, Florida, and Georgia had the most significant decrease in the number of “dropout factories” with a total of 238 schools in the three states no longer meeting the definition.

The report also highlighted Georgia’s efforts to address the high school dropout crisis. The state’s College and Career Academies (CCAs), charter schools that provide rigorous CTE curricula based on local labor market needs, were recognized as a model for increasing graduation rates through partnerships with business and industry. Many of the CCAs collaborate with businesses, such as the Georgia Power Company, to design Career Pathways in high-demand areas. Data on Georgia’s CCAs shows that:

  • 94 percent of CCA students graduate on time.
  • 95 percent of CCA students taking advantage of dual enrollment opportunities earn at least one technical certification.
  • More than 300 CCA students participated in local internships and received positive marks from their supervisors.

Kara Herbertson, Education Policy Analyst

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