Federal Study: NJ Dropout Rates Among Lowest In US
By Katie Colaneri, WBGO News
January 22, 2013
A new study from the US Department of Education shows New Jersey has one of the lowest high school dropout rates in the country. Education advocates say statewide averages disguise an ongoing struggle to help students in the state’s less affluent areas.
Federal education officials say 87 percent of New Jersey high schoolers get their diplomas on time.
Cecilia Zalkind with Advocates for Children of New Jersey says those numbers point to the high achievement of students in the suburbs.
“But when you look at those pockets of poverty or where children face challenging conditions like Newark, some of the other urban areas, some of the rural areas of our state it’s a different story.”
For example, according to the state, less than 70 percent of Newark students finish high school.
Zalkind says the state is making an effort to boost these numbers in poor areas with early intervention programs. But that means it’s going to take some time before the achievement gap between towns and cities in New Jersey begins to shrink.