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Dropout Schools in Detroit Under Scrutiny

Nine specialty schools that cater to dropouts in Detroit will have to prove their effectiveness in order to stay open, The Detroit News reports.

The district's contracting office has notified the schools that their contracts won't be renewed because of questions about their effectiveness and the accuracy of their attendance figures. A district spokesman told the News that the district has paid $4.5 million this year to the schools, which are run by church groups and community organization and reportedly serve about 1,200 students. School officials will be allowed to reapply for new contracts. "It's alarming," board member Paula Johnson told the News. "There are some questions, quite frankly, about if they have students, about the performance of some of them and things of that nature."

For more on the impact of dropping out of school, see the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's report on "The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts." And, for more on graduation rates nationwide, see the just-released Diplomas Count from Education Week.

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