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Hispanics graduating at low rate
November 15, 2001 Thursday

The Associated Press

ATLANTA -- A new study finds that Hispanic children in Georgia are less likely than Hispanics in all other states to graduate from high school.

Two-thirds of Hispanics in the class of 1998 failed to earn a diploma with their colleagues, according to the report by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank. The study released Tuesday showed that the four states with the lowest Hispanic graduation rates are in the Southeast, home to a Hispanic population boom during the past decade.

Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina, three states that also saw big gains in Hispanic residents, likewise had Hispanic graduation rates below 40 percent.

In Alabama, just 33 percent of Hispanics received a diploma, the second lowest rate next to Georgia. In both Tennessee and North Carolina, 38 percent graduated.

Georgia's state school superintendent, Linda Schrenko, has argued that such studies do not track students who earn diplomas later, transfer out of the state or earn general equivalency diplomas.

However, Jay Greene, the institute's senior fellow who conducted the study, said GEDs tend to inflate high school graduation statistics.

Greene's research suggests most of the states with high Hispanic dropout rates saw a big jump in Hispanic population during the 1990s. Census 2000 figures show the Hispanic population grew 300 percent in Georgia during the last decade.

Educators say many of the Hispanic students are leaving to take jobs.

©2001 Chattanooga Times/Chattanooga Free Press



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