Arizona dropout rate on decline
The Arizona Republic
Jul. 25, 2007


Once worst in U.S., state makes strides
Amanda J. Crawford

Arizona cut its high school dropout rate in half since 2000 - an achievement that means the state no longer ranks among the very worst in the nation, according to a national report released today.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's "Kids Count" report ranks Arizona 36th in the nation, up from 45th last year and dead last in the 2005 report, with a dropout rate of 9 percent among teens between 16 and 19. That's worse than the national rate of 7 percent but improved from 2000's rate of 18 percent.

State schools chief Tom Horne argues that Arizona is really performing at the national average.

"We've focused a lot of attention on it, we've focused a lot of money on it
. . . and we work very hard to identify which programs work and get other
schools to adopt those programs," Horne said.

Where state ranks on other measures of child well-being. Valley & State, B1