The dropout problem in American high schools is often referred to as a crisis, and educators say the numbers back that up. On average, three in 10 student drop out of high school. Among Hispanic, African-American and Native American students, that number rises to four in ten.
Students drop out for many reasons, but one thing that may help keep them in school is an effective and caring teacher. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both funders of the the PBS NewsHour, are sponsoring the American Graduate initiative to help improve nation's high school graduation rates.
As part of that initiative, local public television stations in 12 cities are hosting teacher town halls events to learn what they have to say about what works and what doesn't work when it comes to dropouts.
After the L.A. town hall, Hari Sreenivasan of the NewsHour sat down with Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 1994, the philanthropic organization has spent $6 billion on U.S. That has placed the foundation at the center of many debates in education, including smaller schools, testing and teacher evaluation.
1. What is a drop out?
2. What is the dropout rate in your school?
1. Why do students typically drop out of school?
2. What is your school doing to keep students engaged in school?
3. What is the connection between education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation? Discuss.