It may seem like the impossible dream but I guess it never hurts to set a worthy goal. Alabama is working to solve the big problem of students dropping out of school.
An effort to graduate every student in Alabama's public schools is the focus of a new awareness campaign "Every Child a Graduate" by the Alabama State Department of Education.
On the ALSDE website, ALSDE Superintendent Joe Morton says, "ensuring that every child becomes a high school graduate is the central objective of the Alabama State Board of Education."
"Working through the Alabama Department of Education, there is a dedication to creating innovative, yet rigorous programs that help our diverse student population to accomplish the goal of graduation," he says.
According to the website, the campaign originated with a state law enacted in 2009, the Dropout Prevention Act of 2009:564.
While not doing anything to improve the grades of the students or finding a way to deal with their problems away from school that might be playing a role in a dropout decision, the law changed the mandatory attendance age to 17 and instituted a student exit interview that any student desiring to leave school must sign with parents. This exit process requires meeting with a team of student advocates to share alternatives to dropping out.
The awareness campaign will have its kickoff on April 14. Community forums to discuss the dropout problem will be held around the state and sixth graders will be shown a video describing life inside the Alabama prison system, which is populated by a majority of high school dropouts.
On April 28, the ALSDE will unveil a new system, The Alabama Graduation Tracking System, which will help track a student's attendance, behavior and course credit. Tracking these indicators of student behavior will help to alert administrators and can help recognize students at risk for dropping out.