Radio Times

Reversing Philadelphia’s high school dropout crisis

February 6, 2012


Dropping out of high school is particularly epidemic among young African American and Hispanic males, especially in Philadelphia, where half of all public school students drop out before graduating high school. (AP file photo)

Hour 1

In Philadelphia, over half of all students drop out from high school.  In the U.S., only seven of 10 ninth graders will get high school diplomas. Locally, Mayor Michael Nutter has made raising the number of high school graduates a priority, setting goals to halve the dropout rate.  On the national level, in his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called for all states to require that students stay in high school until age 18. Dropping out of high school is particularly epidemic among young African American and Hispanic males, whose families already are suffering from high rates of unemployment. And the crisis seriously impacts our city, state and national economies and threatens Philadelphia’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Why are young people dropping out at the highest rate in our nation’s history, why do we have to stem the tide, and what’s working in schools to encourage young people to graduate?  Our guests include PAUL HARRINGTON, of Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy; HARVEY CHISM, of the Philadelphia Youth Network; and LISA NUTTER, of Philadelphia Academies and First Lady of Philadelphia.

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