Thursday, January 12, 2006

16. School's Out Forever

I meant to comment on this article a bit earlier. It seems that the public school system in America is failing the older generations. shit. Look at it. It's horrible. Americans seem to be under the assumption that America will continue to be competitive in world economics. Our school system is lacking in so many ways compared to countries like Japan, or India. That's where all the jobs are going these days anyway. But there's a fact that I'd like to explore in the article.

"The bottom line is that this nation cannot rightfully expect to lead the 21st century's information and technology-driven global economy when we have upwards of 30 percent of our young people not even graduating from high school," [U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom] Donohue told a news conference called to announce the chamber's agenda for 2006.

In some minority areas, the number of students failing to get a high school diploma is closer to 50 percent. "This is a travesty," Donohue said.

And later:
The chamber is already working with other business organizations to double the number of U.S. math, science and engineering college graduates by the year 2015.

Types of Dropouts:

Beauty School Dropout

American Idol Dropout

Butterfly Dropout

30 percent seems like a lot, right? And it is, I've seen it myself. I spent 4 years in Denver, and last year's public high school graduating rate was absolutely frightening. Check this out:

• 5,633 — The number of students who began eighth grade in Denver Public Schools cla
ssrooms in the fall of 1999.

• 1,884 — The number of those students who graduated from a DPS high school five years later.

That's a dropout rate of 67%. Only 33% of the kids who started there graduated. Now, there's surely some methodology to take into account here. Some kids moved out of the district (20%), some kids were still in school for a 2nd senior year (7%), so it's all in all about 41%. Who's to blame for this?

Parents: Maybe it's not spending enough time with their kids, or instilling them with the values necessary to continue their education and contribute as a citizen of the U.S.A.

Society: Maybe it's everything teenagers are exposed to through television, or the arts, or video games, that makes them become apathetic or unwilling to take an interest in themselves.

Teachers: Shouldn't they be able to make the material interesting enough to get kids to stay? Shouldn't they present the material in such a way as to make it seem necessary and obvious that they stay? Dangerous Minds-style?

Teenagers: Shouldn't we (and I use we because I am only 22, and there's not much difference in age here) have the initiative and take it upon ourselves to at least graduate high school? Think of all the jobs that require a high school diploma.

Well, that last comment probably wouldn't convince me, considering that most of those jobs are going overseas anyways at this point.

What do you think? Who's to blame and what suggestions could be made? Leave a comment.

Free To Be You And Me


Blogger yellojkt said...

Thanks for the comment on my site. You make a great point and in a funny way. Fortunately not every school district is those straits. Affluent suburban schools have very high graduation rates. We need to do more to raise the rate elsewhere.

1/15/2006 3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's all great to hear that inner city schools suck. I'm sure the kids attending them must love to hear it.

1/15/2006 7:38 PM  

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