Poor Graduation Rate in Peach State

By Ben Wolf
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cook High School math teacher Julie Collins says classroom environments have changed since she attended class.

"It's very frustrating as a teacher to see students that can do the work, and just for whatever reason don't want to do the work," she said.

The Peach State is not stacking up well when it comes to graduation rates. According to a new Education Weekly study, about half of the state's students get a high school diploma.

"I think a lot of them see a quick fix, whether it be a job that they can get at that point, they can get an immediate income," said Cook High Principal Jute Wilson.

According to Wilson, more times than not a student was on the path to dropping out long before walking the halls in high school.

"I was at a conference last week where they gave some data that said almost 90 percent of high school dropouts were below grade level in the third grade," he said.

Collins says, in her opinion, there has been a drop in parental support.

"Both parents are working in the workplace. If they’re in a single parent household, one parent is having to do the activities of all the children in school," she said.

Both administrators and teachers hope the implementation of graduation coaches on the middle and high school levels will make an impact on graduation rates.

The study reports Florida's graduation rate is only slightly better. The Sunshine State's rate is 60 percent, which is among the 10 worst in the country.

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