Tucson recognized for its efforts on getting high school drop outs to re-enroll, get diploma

Keeping kids in school

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - For the past five years, the Mayor of Tucson, Jonathan Rothschild and a group of friends, would get up early in the morning and begin to knock on doors.

Not just anyone’s doors, but the doors of high school dropouts. They would make them pledge to re-enroll in high school.

So far, 617 had done that and 97 have gone on to get their high school diplomas.

Now, the Center for Promise, headquartered at Boston University, has issued a report called "More than a Village, on the Tucson program Steps for Success.

Read the full report HERE or see below:

It interviewed 28 students who re-engaged in school and 12 administrators from various agencies that work to reduce the drop out rate.

The national high school completion rate is 84 percent, whereas in Tucson Unified School District it is 86 percent, just above the national average.

Much of that is due to the efforts to keep kids in school or to encourage them to re-enroll.

16-year-old Masi left school last year amid family issues.

“I wasn’t going to school,” she said. “I kept on ditching.”

But with family and the help of the Tucson Dropout Prevention program, she has a future.

“I want to be a detective and live in New York City,” she said.

Without going back to school, that’s a dream which could never be realized.

For the city, the advantages are many.

“Assuring they get an education so that they can be productive members of our community, taxpayers for our community and not folks that we’re going to have to spend additional resources for later on in life," Rothschild said.

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