A new campaign to lower the dropout rate in Los Angeles schools will rely heavily on popular Internet websites such as YouTube and MySpace, as well as radio spots aimed at vulnerable teens, school officials announced Monday.
The Los Angeles Unified School District initiative also features a new website, www.MyFutureMyDecision.com. The site highlights alternative ways of earning a diploma and describes the district's many continuation schools and community college programs.
"For all of those young people out there who have dropped out, the message is very clear: Come back. Come back to school. We have resources for you," Supt. David L. Brewer told a news conference at a South Los Angeles school.
"Do not stay out there and become a statistic in our society. . . . We believe in second chances," he said.
Educators hope to attract teens to the district's website by posting student videos on YouTube, as well as testimonials from former dropouts on the social networking website MySpace.
According to state data from 2006, more than 1 in every 4 of the district's roughly 200,000 high school students dropped out. Other studies that used a broader definition of what constitutes a dropout put the total at more than 50%.
L.A. Unified officials have set a goal of reducing the district's dropout rate 5% this school year.