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American Graduate: The Dropout Problem

North Carolina has recorded some of the lowest student dropout rates ever in recent years. But what is causing the rate to drop, and do we even have a good handle on who is still dropping out and why? Host Frank Stasio talks about the problem of school dropouts with Terry Stoops, director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation; Cassandra Davis, a dropout prevention specialist with Communities In Schools of Durham; Cindy Watkins, organizational advancement director for The North Carolina Partnership for Children; and Julian Wooten, a graduate student in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Listener Call-in.

Alex Granados joined The State of Things in July 2010. He got his start in radio as an intern for the show in 2005 and loved it so much that after trying his hand as a government reporter, reader liaison, features, copy and editorial page editor at a small newspaper in Manassas, Virginia, he returned to WUNC. Born in Baltimore but raised in Morgantown, West Virginia, Alex moved to Raleigh in time to do third grade twice and adjust to public school after having spent years in the sheltered confines of a Christian elementary education. Alex received a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has a minor in philosophy, which basically means that he used to think he was really smart but realized he wasn’t in time to switch majors. Fishing, reading science fiction, watching crazy movies, writing bad short stories, and shooting pool are some of his favorite things to do. Alex still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, but he is holding out for astronaut.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.