March 12, 2017

Editorial: Summit seeks to improve Worcester graduation rates

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Faced with a problem, it never hurts for educators, leaders, agencies and parents to put their heads together.

This Friday, March 17, a summit will be held at WPI to do just that.

Sponsored by Worcester State University’s Latino Education Institute, the “Language of Excellence” gathering will focus on getting more of the city’s young people — particularly those for whom English is not their first language — to finish high school.

It is a “GradNation” event, a term that’s probably unfamiliar to most in Worcester.

GradNation is the signature effort of America’s Promise Alliance and has a straightforward goal: to see the nation’s four-year high school graduate rate get to 90 percent by 2020. The foundation was created and first chaired in 1997 by former Army Gen. Colin Powell, who also served as U.S. Secretary of State.

In Worcester, as the Sun noted last week, the on-time high school graduation rate reached 81.9 percent in 2016. According to the latest figures from the White House, the national rate was 83.2 percent as of the 2014-15 school year; that year, Worcester, at 80.8 percent, was more than 2 percentage points shy of the national rate.


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