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Good news amid daunting issues

By Anonymous
Posted Apr 10, 2011 @ 12:00 PM
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The issue: High school graduation rates

Our view: Progress means more kids in college, too

The problems you have asked The Rep and CantonRep.com to look into for our Stark 20/20 project are daunting — the proliferation of vacant buildings, the cost of government, the need for new jobs, among others. We expected this, of course. Why else bother to invite the community to join us in a systematic effort to make life better in Stark County in measurable ways by the year 2020?

But it’s always wonderful to happen upon good news while in pursuit of information about entrenched problems.

We had known from area school districts’ yearly report cards that high school graduation rates were improving. But it was gratifying to see the front-page graphic Thursday. Between 2000 and 2010, the graduation rate was 95 percent or higher in 10 of Stark’s 20 public and private high schools and 90 percent or above in 17. The lagging districts also are improving, thanks in part to alternative high school options.

This is only a starting point because a high school diploma is no longer a ticket to prosperity. But thanks to the progressive efforts of the Stark Education Partnership, area universities and school districts, higher high school graduation rates also are translating into higher rates of college-bound students. In fact, more and more of Stark’s high school students are graduating with several hours of college credit already completed.

For more about Stark 20/20, including the good news about graduation rates, visit CantonRep.com/stark2020.

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