Rapid gains have been made in closing the graduation gap in Kentucky despite the fact that the poverty rate exceeds the national average, according to a new study from the Johns Hopkins School of Education.

Soft SkillsIn 2013, Kentucky had the highest graduation rate for low income students.  The state also had the smallest gap in graduation rates between low income and non low income students in the country.

One possibility for the success is that schools have been focusing on individual students instead of focusing on one group. According to Joey Kilburn, the director of pupil personnel for Simpson County Schools, the skills of all students are taken into account, rather than their economic situation.

“We don’t really focus on it as a gap,” he said. “We focus on (students) as individual cases to help kids who are at risk of dropping out.”

The district provides intervention for any student who falls behind in reading or math.

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