Drop Out Rate

American Graduate: Poetic Justice Part 1

Jun 1, 2012

WUNC is part of the American Graduate Project. It’s a public media initiative looking at education and the drop out crisis in North Carolina. It’s a big issue, by some measurements, an estimated 1-in-4 high school students will drop out before graduation day. As a part of this project WUNC commissioned slam poets Kane Smego and Will McInnerney to host an after-school writing workshop at Northern High School in Durham. Today we begin a series of poetic reflections on their classroom experience.

Dave DeWitt

In 2009, Governor Bev Perdue and the State Department of Public Instruction took over the Halifax School System in Northeastern North Carolina. At the time, only about one third of students in Halifax high schools passed end of grade tests, and only about one-half graduated.

Things have improved. Graduation rates have risen by 16 percent. But there’s still a long way to go. As part of our American Graduate series, Dave DeWitt visited Halifax Northwest High School to see how the turnaround is going.

Dropping Back In

Dec 16, 2011

North Carolina’s high school graduation rate is inching up. For the first time last year, the state ranked better than the national average. But still, about 1 in 4 high school students in the state drops out. And in a knowledge-based economy, those without at least a high school diploma are highly likely to struggle the rest of their lives.

Education officials in Halifax County are stepping up efforts to hold parents accountable for student attendance. The county court system will host monthly truancy sessions starting at the end of November. Many other counties have similar programs. The move comes as dropout and truancy rates continue to rise in Halifax County's three school districts. County District Attorney Melissa Pelfrey says those districts don't always take the same steps to address truancy.