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Researchers Find Dropouts Down, Math Study Up

August 22, 1995| From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Students are taking tougher math and science courses, testing better and dropping out less, Education Secretary Richard W. Riley said Monday.

But all students from kindergarten through 12th grade need to improve their English skills, which have shown little or no improvement for two decades, he said.

The annual "Condition of Education" report pulls together statistics from the most recent available data. Among the findings:

* More students are taking more difficult math and science courses. The percentage of high school graduates who took geometry increased from 48% in 1982 to 70% in 1992. The percentage who took chemistry rose from 32% to 56%.

* From 1982 to 1992, math scores of 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Educational Progress increased 9 points and on science 11 points, equivalent to a full year's education.

* The high school dropout rate improved from 13.9% in 1982 to 11% in 1993. For whites, the rate changed from 11.4% to 7.9%; for blacks 18.4% to 13.6%; and for Latinos 31.7% to 27.5%.

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