Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee announced a proposal last week to raise the state’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2012—a move he had promised in his State of the State Address earlier this year.
The current graduation rate is 78 percent, according to the governor’s office.
A major feature of the Democratic governor’s plan is a $25 million spending proposal to hire employees who would focus on reducing absenteeism at each of the state’s 400 high schools. The governor will propose new benchmark testing for 8th graders, the results of which would be used to create individual learning plans for students entering high school.
In addition, Gov. Bredesen will push for drastic tuition reductions at community colleges for high school students who earn a score of 19 or better, out of a possible 36, on the ACT college-entrance exam.
A version of this article appeared in the September 20, 2006 edition of Education Week