POSTED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 3:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 3:19pm
Louisiana — For the third straight year in a row, the state's annual dropout rate has fallen, according to a report released by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) today.
The latest figures show the percentage of dropouts in grades 7-12 decreased from 3.5 in 2009-2010 to 3.1 in 2010-2011. The 11 percent decline equates to 1,100 more students who chose to stay in school.
Annual dropout rates also decreased among students in grades 9-12 for the third year in a row. In 2009-2010, 8,704 students dropped out of school. In 2010-2011, that figure dropped by 707 students to 7,997 students, representing an 8.1 percent reduction from the previous year.
Governor Bobby Jindal said: "When even one of our students succeeds who otherwise would have failed, we are hopeful. At the same time, 9,000 of our state's middle and high school students gave up on their chance for a quality education last year. That reality has inspired Louisiana lawmakers to act with urgency to make the changes that are necessary to give every child their best chance."
The consecutive decrease follows a historic drop in the state's dropout rate last year. LDOE officials attribute the decline to improved graduation rates at the state and local level to new and enriched resources and tools to support early intervention, and more accurate data collection and analysis. In addition, the Legislature set a goal for the state to attain a Cohort Graduation Rate of 80 percent by 2014.
"The consistent drop in Louisiana's dropout rate represents the dedication and ability of Louisiana educators, who without question are changing lives through their effective support of our students," State Superintendent of Education John White said. "We want to congratulate our districts, schools, students, and families for proving once again all students are capable of academic success. At the same time, we are partnering with our schools and districts to implement critical changes, such as the implementation of the national Common Core State Standards, so that every one of our students graduates college and career ready."
"These results confirm we're moving in the right direction," Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Penny Dastugue said. "I don't think it could ever be fast enough when our children's futures are at stake. But the continued decline is encouraging."
For more information on Louisiana's dropout prevention initiatives, please visit www.louisianaschools.net