Hoping to Change Odds, Las Vegas Gambles on Once-Failing School

As you can see from this NASA video, Las Vegas had been the fastest growing city in the country. Casinos drove employment, employment drove housing. Vegas, with an economy based around construction and entertainment, was one place in America where you could go with little education and still make a decent living.

But when the recession hit and the housing market burst, Las Vegas became the capital of American foreclosures — which showed people how vulnerable they were without an education.

In a state with one of the worst high school graduation rates in the country, schools quickly turned to new approaches to fix the problem. The principal at Chaparral High School, where only 33 percent of its students were graduating on time, implemented a program to track dropouts one-by-one.

“The whole point of our effort wasn’t to do anything other than say you are loved, you are wanted, please come back,” Chaparral High School Principal David Wilson told Suarez.

Watch the report before it airs tonight on NewsHour.