21,873 SC High Schools Failed to Graduate in 2009
South Carolina Loses 122 Students Every Day
Contact: Neil Mellen
South Carolinians for Responsible Government (SCRG)
122 public high school students are lost each day in South Carolina.
That’s according to a new report on high school dropouts by Education Week magazine, entitled “Diplomas Count 2009.”
The nonpartisan report looked at how successfully public high schools in South Carolina and across the nation prepare students for college. The data was based on state reporting to the federal government for students in the freshmen class of 2005-06.
The study indicated than over one-in-three public school students in South Carolina failed to graduate on time. While 64,820 students were enrolled as freshmen in 2005-06, only 42,947 went on to graduate this spring.
“21,873 students in the class of ’09 failed to graduate this year, explained Randy Page, President of South Carolinians for Responsible Government. “That’s tragic and calling it ‘acceptable’ or an ‘improvement’ is an insult to parents.”
In late May, South Carolina State Superintendent Jim Rex held a townhall meeting at Greenville’s J.L. Mann High School to discuss the dropout problem. He told audience members “some areas and some districts are pulling the state averages down” and admitted to calling these trouble public schools “dropout factories.” Rex further explained that students attending these persistent failing schools “don’t have a shot at the American Dream.”
The 2009 Diplomas Count report authors also noted that South Carolina is one of the few states that fail to release detailed graduation information broken out in by gender, race, or school district.
The graduation figures in the Education Week publication, seen as a national standard for K12 education policy and assessment, vary greatly from higher numbers released by the South Carolina State Department of Education.