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Education

Faces of Metro Atlanta's Dropout Rate: Jean Hudley

Jan 25, 2013
Jean Hudley
Jenny Ament/WABE News

Back in 2004, Jean Hudley created a non-profit organization in Reynoldstown called "Boys to Men." It serves the male youth in the neighborhood.

Every day she offers GED classes and teaches life skills to 16 young men between 18 and 23.  Others show up on an irregular basis. 

Jean herself is a high school drop-out.  She stopped going to William Howard Taft high school in  the Bronx in 1964 when she was 16 years old.  That’ one of the reasons she started her organization.

In our on-going series profiling high school drop outs here is part one of Jean’s story. 

A recent federal report revealed that Georgia has one of the worst graduation rates in the nation, third from the bottom.

Nearly half of the state’s students do not make it to graduation. Research shows that failing classes, coming from a low-income household, and failure early in school are some of the most common predictors for becoming a drop-out.

In 2001, Andre Paraguassu dropped out of Milton High school in north Fulton County as soon as he could. He was 16. This is Andre’s story.

Faces of Metro Atlanta's Dropout Rate: Ashley Hall

Dec 18, 2012

Ashley Hall stopped going to North Springs High School in Sandy Springs when she was only a 15 year old freshman. 

According to state statistics, nearly half of Georgia high school freshman do not make it to graduation. Students drop out for a variety of reasons.  

Surveys show that feeling unmotivated or uninspired to work hard was a significant factor in students' decision to drop out.

But what if life gets in the way of school- and school couldn't be a priority?  Producer Jennifer Ament spoke with Ashley and this is her story.

WABE is producing a series about the "dropout" problem in Atlanta.   Our coverage of this issue is supported by grants from the Rita Allen Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

This is the third installment in our series.  This profile features Cole Alexander.

Jennifer Ament

WABE is producing a series about the "dropout" problem in Atlanta.   Our coverage of this issue is supported by grants from the Rita Allen Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  

This is the second installment in our series.  This profile features Marlo Alexander.

Jennifer Ament

WABE is producing a series about the "dropout" problem in Atlanta.   Our coverage of this issue is supported by grants from the Rita Allen Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

About 7,000 kids drop out of school every day in the United States. Nearly half of the students in Atlanta Public Schools do not make it to graduation. Atlanta, students like Nancy Landaro.

High school students that leave a district without officially withdrawing will count as a dropout.

Also, students that don’t receive a high school diploma within four years can’t be counted as a graduate.

That’s part of the new federal guidelines for calculating graduation and dropout rates.

Area school districts are either adjusting or developing how to improve the graduation rate and also prevent students from dropping out.

For this report, a look at what the Atlanta Public Schools District plans to do.

Some ideas work and some don’t.

Ursula Langford is an entertainment attorney.  Langford was one of many guest motivational speakers at Washington High School.  She provided valuable information and eye-opening stories about her challenges in high school, college and how she overcame them. Ursula talked about staying focused and seeking help from others. She shared with the students her decision to attend law school.

On April 23, 2012, Macio T., a former participant in PBA's partnership with Saving Our Sons & Sisters and the Communities in Schools mentoring program at Washington High School, returned as a guest peer speaker.  Macio stated that he did not know the importance of earning good grades until he became involved in the program.  "I was about to give up and drop out of school because I had no positive people to lean on," said Macio. He encouraged the current participants to choose their peers wisely and take advantage of all available resources.

Atlanta, GA – U.S. Education Department figures for 2008 show that only 70% of high school seniors graduated; among minorities, low-income, and urban students the graduation rate was as low as 50%. The connection between public health and the drop-out rate was one topic of conversation between WABE's Steve Goss and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin.

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