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News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Keep working to reduce dropouts

By Ann Donnelly, Vancouver
Published: December 19, 2020, 6:00am

Dropping out of high school is costly to students and society in many ways. Looking at June 2020 data, the Vancouver and Evergreen school districts have made encouraging headway in reducing high school drop-out rates (“VPS, EPS graduation rates on rise,” The Columbian, Nov. 8). Both districts measured on-time graduation rates higher than 90 percent for 2020, improved from 80 and 85 percent, respectively, in 2015. A variety of focused efforts over a decade are responsible, according to the districts.

The 5 percent to 10 percent of students who still fail to graduate on time (or ever) risk life challenges as a result, and society risks high costs. So those students merit an even more intense level of effort than their classmates.

I recently learned about Graduation Alliance’s Dropout Recovery program (graduationalliance.com/education/dropout-recovery/). The program builds a proven network of support for struggling students. Our region’s school districts should consider this solution.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter