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These graduation rates aren’t just about failing teachers or failing schools – and they certainly aren’t about failing kids. They’re about failing communities. From prenatal healthcare options for low-income moms to equitable access to family-wage careers as youth transition to adulthood – and everything in between. Schools play an enormous role – and they also exist within a larger context.
Youth of color will soon make up a majority of all students in Multnomah County – yet these new figures show that their graduation rates are as much as 30 percentage points lower than whites in Portland schools. We need to fund and support culturally-specific services for youth from birth to career and address inequitable policies, programs, and outcomes wherever they emerge. This is everyone’s problem. And when we turn it around, everyone will feel the benefit. By cutting the dropout rate in half for just one high school class, the Portland area would see an additional $38 million in wages and $4 million in tax contributions – every year.
There’s more on this in a recent publication by the Portland Schools Foundation at http://www.thinkschools.org/uploads/File/PSF_2PageCx25_April_13_2010Lo.pdf
posted 2 years, 12 months ago
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