Some cities make gains in curbing dropouts

WASHINGTON (AP) - A national study has found that the high
school dropout problem is getting better in some big cities where
it's most severe.

The study released today by America's Promise Alliance shows
that the situation remains dismal: More than one in four kids drops
out of high school in the United States.

But 13 cities, including Atlanta, saw double-digit improvement
in their gradution rates.

Atlanta's rate increased nearly 11 percentage points.

Philadelphia, Tucson, Arizona, and Kansas City, Missouri, made huge gains by 20 percentage points or more.

Still, urban schools have a long way to go.

The report found that on average, only half the kids graduate in the 50 biggest cities.

Those cities are home to half the country's population and are
driving a national graduation rate that is estimated at 70 percent.

The report measures progress from 1995 to 2005, the most recent
year for which comprehensive data was available from the U.S.
Department of Education.

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