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Nationwide survey studies high school dropouts

A groundbreaking new report looks at why almost one-third of all high school students drop out before they graduate. 470 dropouts from across the country were surveyed for the Gates Foundation study. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has the story.

For years data on dropouts has been sketchy, because there's no uniform way for schools to report them.

The study from the Gates Foundation surveyed hundreds of high school dropouts from across the country, to finds out why they dropped out, and what could have kept them in school. Gates program director Jim Shelton says this report is a long time coming.

Shelton: "It is unconscionable to me that we allow a million kids a year to leave our schools, that we can see it coming as early as elementary school, and yet we have failed to come up with solutions to address the problem."

The dropouts surveyed say better support from parents and teachers, and more relevant and interesting class-work would have kept them in school. The vast majority say they now regret dropping out. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.

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