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Press Release

Monday, February 02, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair to Serve on National Dropout Task Force
~ Study group to develop solutions and policies that address high school dropout issues ~

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith today congratulated State Board of Education Chairman T. Willard Fair on his appointment to a national task force to prevent dropouts. The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) chose Fair to serve as part of a 17-member panel to study and recommend innovative policy and partnership solutions to the nation’s dropout crisis.

“My congratulations go to Mr. Fair for being recognized at the national level for his expertise and involvement in the critical issue of dropout prevention,” said Commissioner Smith. “His many years as a powerful voice and advocate in community affairs will provide a unique contribution to the important work that lies ahead.”

In partnership with Communities in Schools, the nation’s largest dropout prevention organization, the study group will meet during the coming year to examine high school dropout issues with direct implications for state boards of education and other national, state, and local education policymakers. In particular, the group will explore the diverse reasons students drop out of school and the role schools, communities, families and business can play in supporting students to stay in school.

A comprehensive report will be issued in October 2009, at the NASBE Annual Conference in Cincinnati. Policy recommendations will be distributed to governors, school superintendents, state and local policymakers, national education groups, Congress and federal officials.

For more information about the NASBE, visit www.nasbe.org.