Extension System, Civic Life Center address dropout problem

Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Lowndes Signal

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is partnering with the David Mathews Center for Civic Life to take the next step in addressing the rising problem of dropouts.

An Alabama Issues Forum will be held at Hayneville Middle School from 5-7 p.m., Dec. 7 to discuss various scenarios that often lead to high school dropouts, said Lowndes County Extension Coordinator Katanga Mants.

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The forum will focus around “Dropouts: What Should We Do?”, a publication of the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, which will serve as a guide and map for the discussion.

“Dropouts: What Should We Do?”, offers three approaches for dealing with dropout rates and offers pros and cons to each approach.

The public is encouraged to attend the event to identify and discuss effective actions regarding the dropout issue.

“Everyone that comes will receive a copy of the publication,” Mants said. “Folks can address each option as it pertains to the dropout rate.”

The dropout rate for high school students in Lowndes County is nearly 40-percent, according to the Kids County Data Book.

“Every child learns at a different level,” said Mants. “Since so many teachers have to teach for standardized tests, students are not getting the attention they need.”

Mants said, as a result, some kids “fall through the cracks” since they are not able to keep up with the teaching pace, get bored and drop out.

Others, she said, may find it easier to get a job and earn easy money than pursue a degree, but find it difficult to get the job without the degree.

In addition, contributing to the dropout rate is the matter of student transfers.

Currently, if a student transfers from one school to another, the student will be considered a dropout and grouped into the total percentage, said Mants.

A light meal will be served at the forum.