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Quitting hurts

September 19, 2008

Re "Diplomas don't save dropouts, study finds,"

Sept. 12

We couldn't agree more with Russell Rumberger's statement that there are a lot of places in a child's school career in which intervention may prevent dropping out, and that it's going to take systemic change to help at-risk kids succeed in school.

Too often, these kids enter the juvenile system after quitting school. Many times, the reason for dropping out is a learning disability that goes undiagnosed or is ignored. If properly accommodated, children with learning difficulties can keep pace with peers and often achieve beyond what is expected.

Systemic change must include access to the right tools and support with the expectation that these children just might do extraordinary things.

Alicia Minana

Los Angeles

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The writer is chair of the board of directors of the Learning Rights Law Center.

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