Des Moines schools may offer alternative diploma to lower dropout rate

District officials in Des Moines, Iowa, are considering a proposal to offer an alternative high-school diploma that requires fewer credits earned for students to graduate -- part of an effort to reduce the district's rising dropout rates. Many school districts nationwide have raised the number of credits needed for graduation and have also adopted similar strategies to help stem dropout rates, including modifying graduation requirements, offering alternative diplomas and providing online courses and extra support for students who fall behind on credits.

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