A high school in Missouri graduates less than 60% of its black students
Central graduates less than 60 percent of its black students, according to the latest school district report card from the state's education agency. In contrast, 85 percent of white students in the class of 2006 graduated last spring.
Central isn't alone in its low graduation rate for black students:
Nationwide, only 51 percent of black students graduate from high school.
Black females graduate at a higher rate than black males, 57.8 percent compared to 44.3 percent, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center based in the Washington, D.C., area.
Cape Girardeau school officials have no immediate answers to boosting the graduation rate among black students.
Cape Girardeau School District assistant superintendent Pat Fanger pointed out that the dropout rate among black students declined last year in the district. Only seven students dropped out compared to 35 the previous year.
But the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calculates the graduation rate on the basis of each graduating class. That takes into account students who first entered high school four years earlier and those who subsequently dropped out.
On that basis, 22 black students failed to graduate in 2006. Thirty-two black students graduated, state statistics show.
United Way program may help grad rate