New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson last week launched a statewide effort aimed at getting 10,000 dropouts to return to high school by the end of his term in January 2011.
The governor, a Democrat, said he would authorize the use of $9 million in federal stimulus funds to improve the state education system, including tackling the dropout problem. Data released last week showed New Mexico’s high school graduation rate was 54 percent; the national average was 70 percent. The anti-dropout effort will include expansion of an existing online network of courses so that students who lack two or three credits can register at their local high schools, but take the courses they need to graduate online.
Gov. Richardson also has appointed a task force to focus on schools that have consistently failed to improve over the past five years and to make recommendations for intervention.
A version of this article appeared in the August 12, 2009 edition of Education Week