News from Cruz: One Dropout is Too Many
Graduating from high school is fundamental for success in today’s world. Yet, there are still too many students who do not reach this milestone. Graduation rates are improving, but even one dropout is too many.
AISD is making progress in ensuring that more students receive a diploma. For the past two years graduation rates have risen. The class of 2013 grad rate was 84.1 percent, up from 82.5 percent for the class of 2012. We’re still holding for numbers from the class of 2014, but we hope to continue our upward trajectory.
Through the national PBS "American Graduate" initiative, Austin affiliate KLRU recently received a grant to highlight the effects of dropping out of high school. The grant will support a local coalition in communicating the full scope of the dropout crisis and increasing awareness of contributing factors.
How can we keep students in school? Dropout prevention experts emphasize the importance of early intervention systems, engaging students in rigorous, relevant and effective instruction and offering alternative education models.
Sometimes, it takes just one caring adult to help a student graduate. That might be through mentoring, encouraging a student to persevere or providing the resources they need to walk the stage. As a community, we can marshal the resources to ensure that every student knows that someone will help them reach graduation day.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.