Equity & Diversity

Six States Join NGA Dropout-Prevention Initiative

By Lesli A. Maxwell — January 05, 2010 1 min read

The organization that represents the nation’s governors has selected six states in which it will work to help curb high school dropout rates.

The National Governors Association announced yesterday that Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and West Virginia will be part of a new, two-year initiative that will devise new strategies for preventing students from dropping out of high school and bringing back those who have already left.

The effort is being led by the NGA’s Center for Best Practices and builds on a recent report by the center, called “Achieving Graduation for All: A Governor’s Guide to Dropout Prevention and Recovery,” that examined the underlying causes of the dropout problem and offered strategies for states to pursue to stem it.

In each state, the NGA will work with leaders to define the magnitude of the dropout problem and identify services that are either lagging or don’t exist that would help keep students from leaving school in the first place.

The association will also help the six states come up with new policies, legislation, executive orders, and regulatory reforms to address the dropout issue.

“At a time when we are focused on implementation of more rigorous standards for high school students and graduates, it is important to also retain a focus on our students who are most in danger of not completing their degrees,” Phil Bredesen, the Democratic governor of Tennessee, said in a statement.

Each state will receive $50,000 to pay for the development of a prevention and recovery plan, said Erin Munley, a spokeswoman for the NGA. The states had to apply to be selected for the initiative, she said.

In Tennessee, for example, leaders will use the money toward setting up an “early-warning system” to identify students most likely to be on track for dropping out of school, Gov. Bredesen said.

A version of this article appeared in the January 20, 2010 edition of Education Week

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