Education surest way out of poverty

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Rhode Island’s high school graduation rate is up slightly after a decade-long plateau, according to a report released Monday by a child advocacy group.

Officials at Rhode Island Kids Count said 85 percent of all high school seniors graduated in 2005, compared to 82 percent a decade earlier. That rate never topped 84 percent in the years between.

Despite the slight improvement, Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant said Rhode Island’s graduation rates are unacceptable, especially since manufacturing jobs that once employed those without a diploma are disappearing. She called education the single-best solution for elevating families out of poverty.

Students who fail to earn a high school diploma are three times more likely to be unemployed or earn lower wages than those who graduate, according to the report.

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