U.S. high school dropout rate reaches record low, driven by improvements among Hispanics, blacks

AP Photo/Burlington Times-News, Sam Roberts

More U.S. high school students are staying in school, according to newly released data from the Census Bureau, as the national dropout rate reached a record low last year. Just 7% of the nation’s 18-to-24 year olds had dropped out of high school, continuing a steady decline in the nation’s dropout rate since 2000, when 12% of youth were dropouts.

The decline in the national dropout rate has been driven, in part, by substantially fewer Hispanic and black youth dropping out of school (the non-Hispanic white dropout rate has not fallen as sharply). Although Hispanics still have the highest dropout rate among all major racial and ethnic groups, it reached a record-low of 14% in 2013, compared with 32% of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds who were dropouts in 2000.

The new data show significant progress over the past decade at other measures of educational attainment among Hispanic youth: Not only are fewer dropping out of high school, but more are finishing high school and attending college. The only exception is that Hispanics continue to substantially trail white youth in obtaining bachelor’s degrees.

The decline in the size of the Hispanic dropout population has been particularly noteworthy because it’s happened at the same time that the Hispanic youth population is growing. The number of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-old dropouts peaked at 1.5 million in 2001 and fell to 889,000 by 2013, even though the size of the Hispanic youth population has grown by more than 50% since 2000. The last time the Census Bureau counted fewer than 900,000 Hispanic dropouts was in 1987.

Aside from the Great Recession, the trend in more Hispanic youth staying in school is occurring against the backdrop of diminishing job opportunities for less-educated workers, including less-educated Hispanic workers. Hispanic students and their families may be responding to the rising returns to a college education by staying in school.

Indeed, census data show that Hispanics have reached a record high school completion rate.

Among Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds, 79% had completed high school compared with 60% who did so in 2000. High school completion rates have also been rising for other racial and ethnic groups, but their rates were not at record highs in 2013.

For Hispanics, education has long been a top issue; in Pew Research surveys, Hispanics often rank education as one of the most important issues, along with health care and immigration. Hispanics also made up 25% of the nation’s public school students in 2013, with that share projected to rise to 30% by 2022.

Hispanics have also made progress in college enrollment at two- and four-year schools. Among college students ages 18 to 24, Hispanics accounted for 18% of college enrollment in 2013, up from 12% as recently as 2009, according to the new census data.

But young Hispanics still lag behind in earning four-year college degrees. Hispanic students account for just 9% of young adults (ages 25 to 29) with a bachelor’s degree. By comparison, whites account for about 58% of students ages 18 to 24 enrolled in college and 69% of young adults with a bachelor’s degree.

The dropout rate for black youth also was at a record low in 2013 (8%) and has fallen by nearly half since 2000 (15%). Blacks comprised 16% of the nation’s public school students in 2013, with that share projected to fall to 15% by 2022.

Among non-Hispanic white youth, the dropout rate has also declined since 2000 to 5% in 2013.

Asian youth continue to be the major racial group with the lowest high school dropout rate (4% in 2013), but it was not at a record low last year.

Topics: College, Education

Weezer Fulfills Wish Of Fan-Led Campaign By Covering Toto’s “Africa”

A small but vocal group of Weezer fans saw their dreams come true today when the band released a cover of Toto‘s “Africa”, thereby fulfilling the defining demand of the #WeezerCoverAfrica campaign.

Since its emergence in late 2017, the #WeezerCoverAfrica saga has grown into a perfect storm of things that make the Internet tick. By combining Toto’s “Africa” with social media trolling, aggressive 14-year-olds, and a band that only ’90s kids will remember, the whole ordeal has been a delightful reminder of the transformative power of world wide web.

It all started in December when a 14-year-old Weezer fan named Mary created a Twitter account called @WeezerAfrica in the hopes of convincing her favorite band to cover Toto’s beloved 1982 hit. For six months, her efforts were relentless yet unsuccessful, but everything changed last week when Weezer finally responded.

In a supreme act of trolling, Rivers Cuomo and Co. unveiled a cover of Toto’s other beloved 1982 hit “Rosanna”, which they tweeted at the @WeezerAfrica account on Thursday. The reaction from the Internet-at-large was overwhelmingly positive, but the reaction from @WeezerAfrica and her legion #WeezerCoverAfrica was one of confusion. “#WeezerCoverAfrica turned into #WeeerCoveringRosanna ???,” the account tweeted, presumably while coming to terms with Weezer’s—and by extension, the universe’s—cruel ways.

Alas, the story would not end there. After spending five days adrift in a dark world where Weezer was content to cover the wrong Toto song, the #WeezerCoverAfrica got exactly what it wanted this morning. On top of all that, the band used @WeezerAfrica’s first-ever tweet for their new single’s cover art.

Give Weezer’s take on Africa a listen below. And remember, kids: it’s never too late to follow your dreams, or whatever.

Salute this Forest Officer who built 497 Toilets in Kerala’s Tribal Colonies- let’s appreciate her – The Youth

There is nothing in this world that can stop women from doing many many good things in life. They are bound to achieve at a very young age and also they are destined to get better and brighter when they become old. Would you possibly believe that a woman brought a drastic change to the state at the age of 50? She proved that age is just a number in today’s world.

To achieve phenomenal things in life, a strong vision with intensity, tenacity and will power is just enough to drive one forward.  P.G Sudha is not just a name but a countless of emotions that are pinned to it. That sums up the essential woman for you! The fact that P.G Sudha set herself as an epitome of sheer class is something that others are really proud of.

What makes her so special?

Hailing from Ernakulam district of Kerala, P.G Sudha is a potential beat forest officer by trait. She deserves a certificate of excellence for coming up with an initiative of building as many as 497 toilets in the tribal colonies of the Kuttampuzha forest in a bid to get rid of defecation. She chose this activity as her personal interest because she always wanted to make the environment neat and clean.

With grit and determination, the beat forest officer put in a hoard of efforts to bring a slight change. Much to her constant hard work, there came a fruitful news from Kerala Government as the state was declared open defecation free, making the third state to achieve this feat. The proud and belligerent woman won the Chief Minister’s Open Defecation Free campaign award on November 1, 2016.

P.G Sudha has her say on the whole story:

“Life is tough in these tribal colonies, where facilities are minimal as compared to other parts of the area. One has to walk for three hours to reach the tribal settlements,” she added.

“The reason that people here did not have toilets was that they were simply used to defecating in the open and even if someone did want a toilet, constructing one would have been too difficult. The area’s terrain means that the transportation of construction materials is very difficult if not nearly impossible,” the beat forest officer told.

“Though people here can afford a toilet, the colonies had none. That is because they are comfortable with open defecation. Secondly, construction of toilets is not an easy task, since bringing building materials from outside is a herculean task.”

“The biggest challenge was not the construction but actually transporting the materials. This is why everyone was reluctant to take up the job. These tribal colonies are remote, there are no proper roads to get to them. In fact, to reach some of these settlements one has to walk for 15 to 20 kilometers because there aren’t any other means,” Ms Sudha tells NDTV.

“We had to be very careful. We had to avoid confrontation to ensure that the operation ran smoothly,” she says.

“We would brainstorm and find different ways to transport the construction material to the site. We would be sometimes carting it for kilometers and at other times we would be using rafts to transport the material. Once, the load was so heavy that the raft capsized and the material swept away. But we did not give up,” she concluded.

Firefighters & paramedics save puppy & kitten from house fire

A puppy and a kitten have been saved by emergency workers after almost dying in a house fire.

A seven-month-old cattle dog named Holden and a kitten named Chip were trapped alone in a burning duplex on the northern Gold Coast.

Firefighters pulled them from the fire not moving, panting, covered in black soot and with smoke inhalation.

The animals were handed to Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) officers who set to work saving them.

QAS paramedic Jenny Chesters worked as a vet before she became a paramedic.

Her skills and training came in handy in saving Holden and Chip.

“[It] was a long time ago and I thought I’d forgotten almost everything,” she said.

“You could tell that they were quite affected by the smoke.”

The ambulance officers administered oxygen for about an hour until the pets’ condition slightly improved.

Holden and Chip were behaving normally by the time they were taken to the vet for a check-up.

It was not something Ms Chesters has had to do before as a paramedic.

“It’s just a relief that what we could do helped and they didn’t get any sicker,” she said.

She said she was looking forward to being reunited with them.

“It’s a really hard job sometimes and any happy ending is great,” she said.

“Especially for these two little ones.”

The QAS said it was a some good news for the home owners who suffered considerable property damage in the fire.

Couple goes to zoo, both bring a ring to propose

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Paris ‘Spider-Man’ joins fire brigade after citizenship fast-tracked

Mamoudou Gassama, the 22-year-old Malian hailed as a hero in France for saving a child hanging from a balcony, has been granted legal immigration status and has joined the French fire brigade.

Gassama has been celebrated in France and Mali after a video went viral showing him scaling several storeys of a Paris building to save a four-year-old boy who had already dropped one floor and was dangling from a balcony railing by his fingertips.

After Gassama’s immigration papers were fast-tracked on Tuesday morning, he visited a fire station to sign up for a 10-month internship with the fire and rescue services, which is expected to pay around €600 (£525) a month. He will receive French citizenship within around three months.

Gassama left Mali as a teenager and travelled via Libya – where he was arrested and beaten – and by a perilous boat journey to the Italian coast. He spent four years in Italy before arriving in France in September to join his brother.

Without legal documents in France, he had been sleeping on the floor of a residence for migrants in Montreuil, outside Paris, rolling out a thin mattress each night and packing it up in the morning, sharing a cramped room with six others and unable to work legally.

Patrice Bessac, the Montreuil mayor, praised Gassama’s bravery and promised to rehouse him, saying: “I’m proud to see migrants being seen as enriching our society.”

The head of the local authority in Seine-Saint-Denis, who processed Gassama’s citizenship request, said: “He helped someone in danger, which is not such a common thing in our society.”

Praise has been unanimous for Gassama, who has been given the nickname “Le Spider-Man”. But after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, invited him to the Elysée Palace on Monday and awarded him a medal for “bravery and devotion”, charities working with migrants accused the government of using the case as a PR opportunity to mask its immigration clampdown.

Charities argued that the government should also be helping the thousands of migrants living in squalid conditions with no help from the state.

“There’s a bit of hypocrisy or cynicism,” Claire Rodier of GISTI, which supports immigrants, told Agence France-Presse. She said there was a contrast between the treatment of Gassama and “the repressive policy of this government against migrants and those without documents”.

Other charities accused Macron of “shamelessly” exploiting the case. Benjamin Griveaux, a government spokesman, responded: “Those who accuse us of opportunism would have been shouting if we did nothing.”

MPs are currently debating a proposed new immigration law that would speed up the deportation of economic migrants and refused asylum-seekers.

In northern Paris alone, more than 2,000 migrants and refugees are sleeping rough under motorway bridges and along canals, in what doctors have said are “catastrophic sanitary conditions”.

Special Needs Man Mugged Of Cherished Baseball Cap, Gets New ones and tickets to see dodgers

An unspeakable incident rallied the community in Riverside, after a special needs man was bullied, pushed around and effectively mugged for his beloved LA Dodgers’ hat at a Target.
“I was scared and nervous and frightened,” Michael Cadena, 27, said about the incident, which occurred on Apr. 12.
After being robbed of his head wear, Cadena went to store security to report the incident immediately and filed a report with police once they arrived on scene. After taking a look at Target’s security cameras, the police offered a photo of one of the suspects donning the Dodgers’ hat in question. Police are investigating the incident as a robbery.
“I’m proud of him,” Sylvia Cadena, Michael’s mother, said her son refused to give up his hat repeatedly before it was taken. “Proud for speaking up and saying what was in his heart and mind.”

This story, however, has a happy ending, as the mother of the man explained on social media. Sylvia said her son received “new hats of all sorts” after news of the incident spread across the Riverside community.

In addition, a good Samaritan donated a couple tickets for Michael to enjoy the Dodgers’ game live. On Tuesday night, Michael saw the “Boys in Blue” take on the Miami Marlins, as Walker Buehler made his first big league start and got Michael a 2-1 win for his day at “Blue Heaven.”
What started out as an unconscionable bully attack on a special needs man concluded with Riverside stepping up to support a vulnerable member of the community.

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