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Major Decline Reported In School Dropout Rate

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Urban schools in Massachusetts have made large gains in reducing the number of dropout.

   State education officials say over the last five years the dropout rate in Springfield – the state’s second largest school system—improved from 9.6 percent to 6.5 percent.   Dropout rates also fell over the last five years in Boston, Worcester, Lawrence and New Bedford.   The dropout rate for all schools in the state averaged 2.2 percent—the lowest in more than three decades.  The graduation rate improved for the  seventh consecutive year.  Officials say  85 percent of the state’s students now graduate high school in four years.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.