New Report: Educational and Economic Conditions in America’s Largest Cities

Posted by on April 27, 2009

Some easing of the dropout crisis

A new report from America’s Promise Alliance shows that while the nation’s dropout rate is abysmal — one in four of all American kids fails to graduate — some cities with dire records have made great progress, according to The Associated Press. The study, which looked at data from 1995 to 2005, found that 13 cities saw double-digit improvement in their graduation rates, with Philadelphia; Tucson, Ariz.; and Kansas City, Mo., boosting rates by 20 percent or more. Christopher Swanson, director of the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which prepared the report, said he was “surprised” at some of the gains. “That’s something you wouldn’t necessarily get if you’ve been listening to this debate recently,” Swanson remarked. Still, urban districts in general struggle with daunting statistics: On average, only half the kids graduate in the 50 biggest U.S. cities, according to the report. Nineteen large cities lost ground, with Las Vegas dropping 23 percentage points to 44.5 percent, Wichita, Kan., dropping 18 percentage points to 54.5 percent, and Omaha, Neb., dropping 15 percentage points to 50 percent.

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