SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration plans to help public schools identify students at risk of dropping out of school.
The governor announced Thursday the Public Education Department will use $500,000 approved by the Legislature to implement an early warning system for potential school dropouts.
The statewide graduation rate for the class of 2012 was about 70 percent.
“We shouldn’t wait until high school to have the discussion with our students about graduation,” the governor said in a statement. “We need to start early to make sure our students know of the opportunities ahead of them, and we absolutely must engage parents and teachers to help get students back on track when they are at risk of dropping out of school.”
Martinez announced the new program at a high school in Rio Rancho.
The department will use data that it already collects, such as reading proficiency in the 3rd grade, truancy rates in middle school and freshman grades, to prepare a report on students that assesses whether they’re having problems in school that might cause them to drop out. The reports will be provided to school counselors, who can assist struggling students.
“We know factors such as reading proficiency, truancy and failure in core courses are all warning signs a student may drop out,” Public Education Secretary Hanna Skandera said in a statement. “It’s time we use this information to get more of our students to graduate.”
The administration plans to make the information available to schools in the upcoming 2013-14 school year.