How to tell if a first-grader will someday drop out of school

Montgomery County, Md., public-school officials have developed an early-warning system that could alert educators that a student is at risk of dropping out of school -- as early as the second semester of first grade. Under the system, educators examine attendance, behavior and academic data of students in the spring of first grade and fall of third, sixth and ninth grades. Officials say they are not yet using the data system to track individual students in real time.

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