Kendra Cotton is a project director with the Community-Campus Partnership.
Last week, the NC Department of Public Instruction released 2010-2011 annual report data on school dropout events and rates, bringing mixed results for Caswell and Lenoir Counties.
Caswell County experienced a slight increase—2.8 percent—in its dropout rate, reporting that 37 students dropped out in 2010-11, up from 36 during the 2009-10 school term. This number does, however, represent a marked 57.9 percent decrease from a 2006-07 high of 88 students. Still, as outlined by Dr. Judith Meece’s work in the area, “…the loss of nearly 40 students within one academic year is significant for a small, rural community with finite state and federal subsidies to assist these youth.”
From 2009-10 to the 2010-11 school term, Lenoir County Schools, realized a 10.7 percent decrease in its countywide dropout rate, reporting that 109 students left school in 2010-11, down from 122 students during the previous year. This represents a 42 percent decrease from the outcome results of the 2006-07 dropout data which reported 189 students left the system.
Statewide, the annual high school dropout rate decreased from 3.75 percent to 3.43 percent for 2010-11 year. A total of 15,342 high school students dropped out in 2010-11, as compared to 16,804 students in 2009-10.
The DPI report also highlights the number of acts of crime and violence reported among high school students, as well as suspensions and expulsions among all students. The consolidated version including all three reports can be accessed here.