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Viewpoint - Mississippi's Dropout Rate

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A report just out shows a slight increase in Mississippi's high school drop-out rate.  That is decidedly not good news.  According to the Associated Press the state Department of Education on Thursday released figures that showed the graduation rate for the past year was only 71.4 percent and the dropout rate was 16.7 percent.

People often assume that bright students do not drop out of high school.  That is definitely not the case.  There are many very bright—but highly misguided—students who for reasons only fathomed by them choose to end their education before even getting a high school diploma.

These are young people with much to offer.  They could go on to be among the best and brightest.  That could help our state raise her standards in so many areas.  They could be teachers, physicians, nurses, writers, engineers, councilors, attorneys, scientists …where ever their passion and gifts take them.  Instead they will most likely get stuck in menial tasks and dead end jobs far below their potential.  Few things are sadder than squandered talent and this state has far too much of that.  Please, young people, get your education and be everything you were designed to be.  We all need you.

I'm Jim Cameron and that's today's Viewpoint.

Email Jim Cameron at jcameron@wdam.com