High School Drop-Out Rate Remains High

A new study shows Alabama has one of the highest high school drops out rates in the nation. In Houston County, three out of every 10 students never get their diploma.

More than 37 percent of Dothan City and Houston County students do not graduate from high school. A number that is unacceptable to most educators.

"This is a problem all over the state, but that's no excuse. We're responsible for Houston County," says Houston Co. Superintendent Tim Pitchford.

Drop out rates are obviously high, but local high schools like Northveiw are working to create more programs to keep more student in school through graduation.

Northview High School Principal Ron Snell says "They're able to make up credits throughout the year so they don't get frustrated and drop out."

Students who drop out lose the chance to gain skills they need to earn livable wages. High school officials are trying to help students before dropping out becomes an option.

"The largest percentage of students leaves us in the 10th grade and that's when they realize their credits are down."

Both Dothan City and Houston County Schools offer programs to help students recover credits they have lost so they don't get discouraged. They're also working on offering more one on one attention to help increase student retention.

The state of Alabama drop out rate average is 40 percent and the rest of the Wiregrass fits into the equation.

According to Southern Education Foundation 2006 report, the Dale County drop out rate is just above 29 percent, Barbour County is almost 45 percent and Henry County is at 50 percent.

The Alabama Legislature is working right now to pass legislation to reduce the graduation exam requirements so more students can receive their diplomas.

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  • by Lynn Location: Slocomb on Jun 6, 2008 at 03:03 PM
    My son is at Slocomb High, the teachers there do not care whether the students graduate or not and when you, the parent, complain to someone nothing gets done. The Principal there has cussed at my son. He gets sent to ISS for anything they can send him there for, last time it was not wearing a belt. I dont understand the strickness of the school and why teachers dont work with the students to help them graduate. We are from another state, where the students were proud to be going there and wanted to excel in their education. I hope the Superintendent can make a change.
  • by Sheyleah Location: Lubbock, TX on May 15, 2008 at 03:34 PM
    As an individual that received their education from Daleville, AL and now is 4 semesters away from their Ph.D. and teaching college mathematics at South Plains College. I have to think there is enough blame to pass to everyone from the students to the state. Students have to want an education to receive one, this is directly tied to the parents and family instilling the importance of education in the student. The state needs to allow teachers to teach the students how to think and not to the graduation exam. Has anyone stopped to think that this may be part of the reason students are dropping out? The students may feel like they are not learning anything. Another aspect of this problem is that people like the individual from Slocomb thinks that problem is only caused by the teachers. The reason the USA is no long the leader in education is the lack of importance put on education from the home all the way to the White House.
  • by Tom Tucker Location: Greencastle, PA. on May 12, 2008 at 01:51 AM
    Wonderful, just wonderful: "reduce the graduation exam requirements so that more students can receive their deplomas." What happened to dumming the test down? Legistative language, thats what. Stop the BS (not the collage degree) Lets teach Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Civics. Cut all the underwater basket weaving classes. Reform education upwards not down the drain.
  • by Bill Location: Enterprise on May 1, 2008 at 09:50 AM
    Parents? Where's the father of the house? Ain't none. Worthless dropout parents beget worthless out of wedlock dropout children. No wonder crime is now out of control in the Wiregrass.
  • by Anonymous Location: Slocomb on May 1, 2008 at 07:04 AM
    I think the promble is not the students but the teachers. When kids get the the middle school and high school the teachers don't care. There are to many coaches as teachers and VP of the school. We need teacher who there only for the kids not to win games. Slocomb High is one of those school who needs change.
  • by Observer Location: Henry Co on May 1, 2008 at 05:45 AM
    You might actually want to check with the Superintendent of Henry County, as our drop out rate is NOT 51%. I don't know where you got your informatino from.
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