Dropout rates improve in Twin Counties

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Dropout rates at area schools fell last year – welcome news for students, parents and educators. But the dropout rates for Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools and Edgecombe County Public Schools remain higher than the state average, according to a new report from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Statewide, the dropout rate fell from 3.01 percent of students in grades 9 through Early College in the 2011-12 school year to 2.45 percent in 2012-13.

The Nash-Rocky Mount and Edgecombe systems both posted strong improvements. But the dropout rates in the Twin Counties are still higher than the state average, according to the DPI report.

Nash-Rocky Mount’s rate fell from 4.68 percent in 2011-12 to 3.79 percent in 2012-13.

Edgecombe County’s rate dropped from 4.81 percent in 2011-12 to 4.04 percent in 2012-13.

Superintendents in Nash-Rocky Mount and Edgecombe credited special efforts on the part of administrators and staff members for helping at-risk kids stay in school. The efforts seem to be paying off, slowly but steadily. And that addresses a critical need in the Twin Counties.

Prospective employers considering a move to Eastern North Carolina are naturally interested in the education level of the potential workforce here. Keeping kids in school longer and improving graduation rates sends the right message to businesses and industries looking at our area.

Congratulations to Nash-Rocky Mount Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson and Edgecombe Superintendent John Farrelly and their staffs and faculty. The new report from the Department of Instruction is the kind of story we enjoy seeing in the newspaper.