Dropout-prevention programs are gaining momentum, in part, because high-profile people such as Bill Gates and Colin Powell are backing the efforts. While the graduation rate has increased to about 75% of the class of 2010 earning a high-school diploma, educators and experts say more work remains undone. One approach taken by a network of cities, including Boston, has been to establish "re-engagement" centers, in which students receive help to return to school.

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