Saturday, April 05, 2008

'Crisis' graduation gap found between cities, suburbs

By Greg Toppo

WASHINGTON — The likelihood that a ninth-grader in one of the nation's biggest cities will clutch a diploma four years later amounts to a coin toss — not much better than a 50-50 chance, new research finds.
Cross into the suburbs, and the odds improve dramatically.

The findings, which are being released today, look closely for the first time at the gap in high school graduation rates between public schools in the 50 biggest cities and the suburbs that surround them. Among the alarming disparities: In 12 cities, the gap exceeds 25 percentage points. Of those cities, nine are in the Northeast or Midwest.

The study was commissioned by America's Promise Alliance, a group of foundations, advocacy and non-profit organizations, and corporate and religious groups focusing on children's education, safety and health. It was founded by former general Colin Powell and is headed by his wife, Alma. The alliance plans a series of dropout-prevention summits in each state over the next two years.

GRADUATION RATES: 50 largest cities

Read more HERE

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