State legislators in North Carolina planned to launch an intensive study this week of high school dropouts, hoping the review of achievement data and spending patterns will better inform policies for improving secondary education in the state.
The House Select Committee on High School Graduation and Drop Out Rates, announced by Speaker of the House James B. Black, will work through January.
“Our schools are losing too many students due to discipline problems, gangs, long-term suspensions, or simply because they turn 16,” Mr. Black, a Democrat, said in a statement.
With just 66 percent of 9th graders earning a high school diploma within four years, the Tar Heel State ranks 45th in the nation when comparing state graduation rates, according to Mr. Black’s statement.
State education officials have urged lawmakers to raise the age for compulsory school attendance. State law allows students to quit school at age 16.
A version of this article appeared in the October 18, 2006 edition of Education Week