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Officials discuss dropout prevention
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Teachers, school administrators and lawmakers met in Cromwell on Monday to discuss high school dropout prevention. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports.

High school dropout rates offer an important look at whether public schools are effectively engaging and educating kids to become productive members of society. Measuring dropout rates can be tricky - state, federal and independent numbers vary widely.

Connecticut’s Department of Education estimates the state’s overall 2007 dropout rate at 6.2%, but the numbers are probably higher. And behind the numbers is a significant graduation gap. More white and Asian kids graduate in CT than African-American and Hispanic students. Governor Rell says the state will provide resources to schools.

"To identify the students that are most likely to be the dropout student; to recognize when a child is bored; when a child is suffering from problems in a home environment. You know its not rocket science to be able to be identify these issues. Its more important that we start to address them at an earlier stage."

Rell says the state plans to focus on twenty Connecticut districts with the highest dropout rates.

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.