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Drop-outs Down For Watauga Schools PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Friday, 06 May 2011 13:12

There’s good news for Watauga Schools as their school year winds down—drop-out rates are at new lows. The school system’s spring newsletter, quotes figures released by the State Board of Education in March showing the dropout rate declined to new lows both locally and statewide in 2009-10. The statewide dropout rate for grades 9-12 declined to 3.75% last year and the rate for Watauga High School fell to 2.74%, well below the state rate.   
The dropout rate only counts students who drop out in a given year.  It does not reflect the graduation rate, which is determined by the percentage of entering ninth graders who graduate within four years or less.   The State Board had previously released good news on graduation rates.  The four year graduation rate rose to 74.2% statewide and to 82.0% at Watauga High School.     Attendance problems remain the most commonly cited reason for students to drop out, accounting for about 41% of cases statewide in the stats.  The second most frequent reason was to attend community college, at 22%.  Students who leave high school before graduating are counted as having dropped out even if they immediately enroll in a community college. 
Improved graduation rates are good news both now and long term.  High school graduates enjoy substantially higher earnings, better health, and longer lives than those who fail to complete high school.

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