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A recent study reported that about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.
Locally, we had only 22 dropouts out of some 1,200 students last year.
Nevertheless, the numbers are disturbing.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the group doing the study, told the Associated Press that “when more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem – it’s a catastrophe.”
We agree. We are falling further and further behind other nations in producing an educated, literate population.
Even when we graduate students, they are often at marginal levels and well below other nations.
Each year, the local Rotary Club here participates in a student exchange program. In talking to students who come here, a universal comment they make is how easy – and behind – our schools are.
It is a problem that needs more than lip service.
Locally, we are relatively fortunate to have a very good school system with a first-rate high school.
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