Missouri education leaders are joining a national effort to reduce the high school dropout rate.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education hosted a dropout prevention summit Monday in Columbia. Participants from at least 22 local school districts joined the discussion online.
Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise was the summit's keynote speaker. He called the nation's dropout dilemma an economic crisis as significant as the crumbling credit and housing markets. Wise also urged Missouri officials to better identify students at risk of dropping out earlier in their academic careers.
The Missouri meeting is part of a larger initiative by America's Promise Alliance, a group created by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.