Washington City Paper examines the reasons for the relatively high dropout rate in D.C. The story looks at the difficulties that those who have left school face, when they try to earn adult basic education. A second, "shadow school system," which consists of adult learning centers at churches and community organizations, enrolls thousands of students per year. Few, however, succeed to pass the General Education Diploma (GED) exam. The reporter points to statistics showing that over the last decade the proportion of students graduating from high schools has been decreasing, while the proportion of those who earn their diploma through alternative means has been increasing. The very low high school graduation rate in D.C. affects the need for city services, limits the ability of private businesses to find trainable employees, and cripples the ability of young mothers and fathers to find jobs that pay a decent wage, the newspaper reports.
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