Remedial Measures Needed For School Dropouts
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Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008
by Joel Hendon
One of the most critical problems facing our nation, and has been for years, is the high school drop out rate. There is hardly an educational board, system, or even an individual school which has not put forth efforts to stem the ongoing flow of young dropouts. Yet, the tide continues to roll. According to an Associated Press report in March 2008, 17 of the nations 50 largest cities have a record of less than 50% of students graduating on time. And the national average for large urban schools is about 50%. It is difficult to get a true and accurate national average overall. It varies widely by location, ethnicity and race, family income level, and several other factors.
A number of states are considering, or already have decided, to raise the minimum age allowed for students to leave school to age 18. This may or may not prove successful, although it seems to me that it is a wise move. Either that or make it mandatory that all students graduate regardless of age unless there is some legitimate reason that the student could not do so.
One thing which seems to be mainly overlooked is that the parents should be held responsible, at least to a reasonable degree, to see that the child remains in school at least through high school. If both parent and student realizes that there is to be trouble if one drops out, it should at least help a little. This should be no problem with parents, it is for the child's good. A child who willfully ignores the rule should be put into a detention center until his/her graduation is completed.
It becomes obvious, to me, when you see a family whose children know before they start to school, they are expected to finish high school or even college...there is rarely any difficulty in achieving this. This is usually the same result as when children are shown early on, that Sundays are to be for church attendance as long as they reside in their parents home. Normally those will continue without protest. But for those with the attitude that "there is no need to make them go if they don't want to, it won't do them any good." the chances are they will drop out. It seems a pity that one would have to be forced to complete high school.
It has been shown that those who finish only high school, average earning almost $10,000 per year more than those who don't. That would account for around half a million dollars more in an average business career span. The jobs available for those who have not completed high school rarely have any future whatsoever. Most are menial and low pay, often outside strenuous labor.
My take on this is not to demean or show disdain for those efforts that are being put forward at this time. I commend all who are trying and especially those who are achieving even a small amount of results. But where no results are shown, there seems to little reason to continue to try the same thing(s). I still contend that the attitude formed in the child's mind ahead of time, that he must at least finish high school, is paramount to his success in that.
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