U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today issued the following statement on a report by the National Center for Education Statistics entitled, “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2007-08:”
“Today’s report confirms that our nation faces a dropout crisis. When 25 percent of our students – and almost 40 percent of our black and Hispanic students – fail to graduate high school on time, we know that too many of our schools are failing to offer their students a world-class education.
“President Obama’s agenda addresses the dropout crisis with an unprecedented commitment to turn around our lowest-performing schools, including the 2,000 high schools that produce half of our nation’s dropouts and as many as three-quarters of minority dropouts. With $4 billion available for these turnarounds, we have the resources to transform these schools from dropout factories to college graduation academies. Our agenda also includes new resources to support states’ efforts to build data systems that measure whether students are on track for graduation – and how to help them if they’re not.
“I believe that improving our nation’s graduation rate is absolutely essential to the future of our economy and the future of our nation. I look forward to working with educators across America to raise graduation rates and improve the lives of millions of high school students.”