Website Lists Fresno in Top Ten Cities for Dropouts

FRESNO, Calif. Beast Editor Dana Goldstein explained it this way, "On all of those metrics Fresno was one of the worst cities in the country. I've actually never been to Fresno so I can't explain it."

Those metrics included the percentage of college graduates, sales of non-fiction books and the percentage of registered voters who voted in the last general election.

Now, their latest rankings issued October 30th say the Fresno metropolitan has among the nation's highest percentage of high school dropouts. Goldstein says no offense is intended. "By putting these numbers into a list and giving it a ranking it's just a way to call attention to these issues." She said.

By their calculations the web site says nearly 12 per cent of the adult population in the Fresno area lacks a high school diploma and about one in four current students are expected to drop out. In addition, the median individual income is a relatively low $22,600 per year.

Fresno County school superintendant Larry Powell says it's no surprise the Fresno area has problems. "Poverty is one of those really tough things to overcome but if you don't have a good base for jobs, a good base for employment you have a lot of difficulties for families." Powell said.

Goldstein says the goal of her publication is to help communities recognize and deal with the issues. "My advice for the whole state of California I guess is that the sort of social problems the state is facing needs to be addressed it can't be had on the cheap. Things like better schools, services of immigrants, they take an investment a public investment."

The Daily Beast says Fresno is the nation's ninth worst city for high school dropouts, just one spot ahead of Baton Rouge. Three other California cities are also on this list including Stockton at number four and Bakersfield at number one.

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