State Schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell says the dropout rate for the last school year was just over 20 percent – that’s down about one percent from the year before. Nearly 35 percent of African-American students and close to 26 percent of Latino students dropped out. That compares to 12 percent of white students and eight percent of Asian students. O’Connell says schools need to step in *before* a student becomes a statistic:
“We have to get better at looking at signs that indicate a student is in crisis, or is just drifting away or is becoming more disengaged.”
O’Connell says 68 percent of students graduated last year. Another 12 percent either took the GED or spent more than four years in high school. This is the second year the state has used a new student tracking system. O’Connell says after four years, they’ll have more accurate dropout data.