03/09 - Louisiana’s Dropout Problem

What can Louisiana do to improve its high school graduation rate?

The dropout rate in some Louisiana high schools is above 40 percent. Nearly 16 thousand students dropped out of school in 2007. Their unemployment rate may be as high as 30 percent. The price for society: lost tax revenue higher welfare costs and higher risk of incarceration. What can Louisiana do to improve its high school graduation rate? Watch “Louisiana’s Dropout Problem” on Louisiana Public Square. March 25 at 7 pm.

You can also continue the discussion about our state’s high school dropout problem during a live online chat, Thursday, March 26th from 2 – 3 p.m. Donna Nola-Ganey, Assistant Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education; and Mr. Henry “Richey” Jackson, Director of the internationally recognized Bossier Truancy Center will be answering your questions.

Panel:

* Henry “Richey” Jackson, Director of the Bossier/Webster Parish Truancy Center
* Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan
* Louisiana Department of Social Services Secretary Kristy Nichols
* Louisiana’s State Superintendent of Education, Paul G. Pastorek



Chat Panel:

* Henry “Richey” Jackson, Director of the Bossier/Webster Parish Truancy Center
* Alison Neustrom, Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Family Support
* Donna Nola-Ganey, Assistant Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education

Backgrounder

“The number one predictor of a child’s future success is whether he or she graduates from high school.” Alma J. Powell, wife of Retired General Colin Powell and co-founder of America’s Promise Alliance

Nationwide, nearly one in three high school students drops out before graduating. In Louisiana, the statistics are even more disheartening. A 2008 study conducted by the Louisiana Department of Education of the 2006-07 school term found that only 65.9% of students who had entered the 9th grade four years earlier actually graduated. That means slightly more than a third - 34.1% -of the nearly 190,000 students that annually enroll in public high schools in Louisiana end up leaving prematurely.

...Read Full Backgrounder

Our Panelists:

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


They Army National Guard has a program where we will send a high school dropout to 8 weeks of basic training.  Upon completion they will attend a 9-month school called Patriot Academy.  They will be able to earn a high school diploma (not GED) and enroll in on-line college classes.  They will be earning a pay check and getting a free education at the same time. after the 9-month program, the Soldiers will attend another school to train them in the job that they will be performing in the Louisiana Army National Guard.  This opportunity would give dropouts at least thirteen months of having a full time job, saving up money, earn a high school diploma and possibly college credits, and return to the LA workforce as a higher educated, confident, hard-working citizen/Soldier.  I’d appreciate the ability to spread this message to recent dropouts to try and turn their lives around and enhance the Louisiana economy.

Posted by David L. Bourgeois  on  01/29  at  10:19 AM
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