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CMS works on graduation rate

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte - Mecklenburg school (CMS) district is trying to improve its graduation rate throughout the district. Right now about 70 percent of students are getting a high school diploma from CMS.  In three years, the district wants that number to climb to 90 percent of students walking across the stage.

"I don't think so," CMS Grandmother Gwendolyn Holt said. "I really don't."

 Holt thinks achieving that goal is too much. She thinks the district can't reach 90 percent with students acting the way they do.

"They look like they are not concerned with school," Holt said.  

The district thinks it can reach its lofty graduation goal.  Here's how the district plans to do it. CMS wants to improve on teacher effectiveness, create more ways students can recover lost credits, and have programs that encourage students to say "No" to gangs. 

Brett Loftis, the Executive Director of the Council for Children's Rights thinks CMS is wasting time with those initiatives.  

"Until we start early," Loftis said.  "We are continuing to spend more money in remediating problems way down the road."

Loftis wants CMS to start looking at its graduation rate 13 years down the road.

"If we can start right now," Loftis said.  "Supporting every four year old who needs quality intervention, make sure they have a good quality teacher and strong community support every year thereafter, we will have every student graduating."

Holt says that sounds good and wished those programs were in place to help her grandson. He is still a student at West Charlotte High School.

"He should have graduated last year," the grandmother said.  "He has half a semester to go."

The school board is still discussing its plan and determining how much the plan will cost.

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