Dropout Factory rating for all four city high schools

10:22 AM, Oct 30, 2007   |    comments
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WASHINGTON - It's a nickname no principal could be proud of: "Dropout Factory," a high school where no more than 60 percent of the students who start as freshmen make it to their senior year. That dubious distinction applies to more than one in 10 high schools across America and all four Grand Rapids Public High Schools. "If you're born in a neighborhood or town where the only high school is one where graduation is not the norm, how is this living in the land of equal opportunity?" asks Bob Balfanz, the researcher at Johns Hopkins University who defines such a school as a "dropout factory." There are about 1,700 regular or vocational high schools nationwide that fit that description, according to an analysis of Education Department data conducted by Johns Hopkins for The Associated Press. That's 12 percent of all such schools, no more than a decade ago but no less, either. While some of the missing students transferred, most dropped out, Balfanz says. The data tracked senior classes for three years in a row - 2004, 2005 and 2006 - to make sure local events like plant closures weren't to blame for the low retention rates. The highest concentration of dropout factories is in large cities or high-poverty rural areas in the South and Southwest. Most have high proportions of minority students. These schools are tougher to turn around, because their students face challenges well beyond the academic ones - the need to work as well as go to school, for example, or a need for social services. MICHIGAN SCHOOLS ON LIST Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids Central Grand Rapids Creston Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills Grand Rapids Union Detroit Schools: Cass Technical Central Chadsey Cody Communication & Media Arts Cooley Davis Aerospace Denby Finney Ford Kettering Mackenzie Murray-Wright Northern Northwestern Osborn Pershing Redford Southeastern Southwestern Western International Detroit School of Industrial Arts Weston Technical Academy. Metro Detroit suburbs: Academy for Business & Technology Detroit Area: East Detroit Ecorse Ferndale Hamtramck Hazel Park Lincoln Park Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Pinckney Pontiac Central Pontiac Northern River Rouge Van Dyke Lincoln Wayne-Westland Wayne Memorial. Outstate: Battle Creek Central Other Schools: Bay City Central Bendle Benjamin Carson Bentley Benton Harbor Brandywine Bridgeport Buena Vista Carman-Ainsworth Coloma Covert Dowogiac Union Flint Central Flint Northern Flint Northwestern-Edison Gateway Roscommon Harrison Hartford Houghton Lake International Academy of Flint Kalamazoo Central Kalamazoo Loy Norrix Kelloggsville Lansing Eastern Lansing Everett Lansing Sexton Muskegon Saginaw Arthur Hill Saginaw High Ypsilanti South Haven Jackson Da Vinci Institute White Cloud Willow Run.

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