Today, in my independent cinema class, we watched Hoop Dreams, the uplifting yet heart-wrenching tale of Arthur Agee and William Gates. As one student talked about the expectations and assumptions that exist for so many in my classto go to college, the reality is that the experiences of Arthur and William are all too common. They are, unfortunately, not an exception. This week’s report of graduation rates in American cities confirms the all too common stories in Hoop Dreams and in homes around the nation.
Report: Half of big-city children drop out
Published: April 1, 2008 at 3:24 PM
WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) — A report out Tuesday found alarmingly high dropout rates among students in the largest U.S. cities.
America’s Promise Alliance said about half of the students in the nation’s 50 largest cities don’t make it to graduation compared to a nationwide dropout rate of about one-in-three.
Detroit reported a graduation rate of 24.9 percent compared to high-side cities such as Colorado Springs (83.7 percent) and San Jose, Calif., (80.9 percent).
“It’s time for a national ‘call to arms,’ because we cannot afford to let nearly one-third of our kids fail,” said Colin Powell, a founder of America’s Promise Alliance.
The retired general and former secretary of state added in a written statement that the inability to produce an educated workforce amounted to a threat to U.S. economic security and, eventually, national security.
The organization Tuesday announced it would start a national campaign of summits aimed at dropout prevention to be held in every state and 50 communities over the next two years.