Tennessee Districts Track High School Dropouts

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee school districts under pressure to graduate 90 percent of all students by 2012 are taking steps to find out exactly what happened to students who supposedly dropped out.

Districts hope to find that students who were counted as dropouts actually transferred to other schools or for other reasons aren't attending class.

The state defines a dropout as a student who doesn't attend school for 10 consecutive days, or who gets 15 unexcused absences in a single semester. If a school can prove a student transferred, died, was ill or was in jail, he or she doesn't count against the school as a dropout.

To help meet the mandate, the Metro Nashville district has hired 15 registrars to find missing students and keep better tabs on future withdrawals.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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