By Marie LeBlanc, Catalogue Community Partnerships Coordinator
Today’s political and economic conversations tend to revolve around one problem and its many side-effects: the struggling economy, and thus high unemployment rates and student loan debt, especially among youth and recent graduates. However, for one segment of the population, even the burden of student debt is out of reach because they don’t have the opportunity to go to college. Today, drop-out rates in the US are startling. According to American Graduate, 1.3 million students drop out of high school each year. DC’s high school graduation rate is 76%, with significantly different rates depending on race. Students who don’t complete high school are ineligible for some low-skill jobs, never mind the high number of professions today that require at least a Bachelor’s degree.
The American Graduate Initiative tackles this issue head on, with the support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. WAMU published a series of articles addressing the dropout crisis in the area. Reporter Kavitha Cardoza explores the “causes and consequences of the dropout problem” in DC, and also look at innovative support for at-risk students provided by a variety of community organizations.