Tue., November 30, 2010 2:23pm (EST)

Dropout Factories Decline In Georgia
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Georgia High School Students (photo courtesy Georgia Department of Education)
Georgia High School Students (photo courtesy Georgia Department of Education)
A new report says Georgia’s high school graduation rates are headed up and many of the improvements are in some of the worst performing schools.

The report by America’s Promise Alliance looks at so-called dropout factories, schools where no more than 60-percent of freshman make it to their senior year and receive a diploma.

Between 2002 and 2008 the number of these schools in Georgia dropped from 156 to 120. Matt Cardoza with the Georgia Department of Education says he attributes their improvement to graduation coaches being added in 2006. However, state funding for the positions has since been cut and that concerns him.

“We do think that they have done a great job in the schools and they’ve put that focus on students that are most at risk and so the fewer of those people you have in the schools the more likely it might be that you don’t catch some of those students that are at risk.”

More than half of all states increased graduation rates. The greatest decline in dropout factories occurred in the south.