National Educators Release a New Plan to Lower Dropout Rate

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Students have walked down the hallways almost every day for four years, but sometimes the daily grind can be too much. The high school dropout rate is on the rise, and students themselves offer some reasons.

John Coppins, a senior at Leon High School, said, "Lack of motivation and lack of being challenged. I know a lot of really smart kids who get into trouble and just loose focus."

To help students remain focused on their schoolwork, the National Education Association has developed a 12-point plan.

That plan includes making high school graduation or an equivalency mandatory for everyone under the age of 21, expanding graduation options, and better preparing students for careers in the workforce. Despite the plan, school administrators are still concerned.

Rocky Hanna, Principal of Leon High School, said, "Kids are falling through the cracks. We're spending so much time with reading and math and remediation trying to get up to speed, but there are some of those kids that don't see the relevance."

Marsha Jopling, a teacher who deals with troubled students, added, "I give them hope. I try to give them assignments they can achieve, realistic situations they would be in without an education."

Local teachers and administrators hope that their hard work combined with the new NEA plan will help increase those graduation numbers.

Florida and Georgia rank 45th and 49th respectively as states having the worst dropout rates in the nation.