New plan to cut Philadelphia’s dropout rate

    Over half of young Latino men don’t finish high school in Philadelphia.

    Philadelphia’s schools get a new plan Thursday aiming at cutting the dropout rate among African-American and Latino males . A task-force will present a final report on the problem to the School Reform Commission.

    Thirty-seven percent of Philadelphia public school students who start 6th grade will drop out but before graduating. For African-American males, that number jumps to 43 percent, and it’s 51 percent for young Latino men.

    For the past ten months, School Reform Commissioners Robert Archie and Johnny Irizarry have headed the task-force charged with quantifying the problem and finding solutions. Commissioner Irizarry says the report is blueprint for immediate action.

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    “We don’t want the report to sit on a shelf, obviously. We don’t want it to be another exercise of the mind. We definitely want it to be a template for action and for transformation.”

    The report recommends tailoring the curriculum to young black and Latino men, increasing their ranks in honors and advance-placement classes, and doing more early intervention for at risk teens.

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