Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lower Dropout Rates

     According to a recent article from the Pew Research Center (see article here), the U.S. high school dropout rate dropped to 7% last year.  It has been going down since 2000 when the national dropout rate was 12%.  Educators know that earning a high school diploma may not be a ticket to live-long success.  But without one, you are pretty much guaranteed to experience many struggles in your life--not the least of which would be trying to build a middle-class life for you and your family.

     Hispanic and Black dropout rates have significantly declined since 1993.  Hispanic student (today) comprise 25% of our nation's public school students.  In 1993 their dropout rate was 33%.  Today it is down to 14%--and it has been steadily declining since 1998 despite a 50% rise in the population of young Hispanics in our country.  The dropout rate for Blacks has declined from 16% in 1993 to 8% today.  Black youth represent 16% of our public school students.

     Public schools do everything they can to keep students in school and to encourage completion of their high school diploma.  We encourage students to become involved in school teams and school clubs.  Students who are involved in school are less likely to dropout.  (I have to be honest, I can't find data on that last statement.  But I've heard it from many sources over the years and it makes sense--to me--to be true.)

     We also know that when students can connect with an adult in the school, they are more likely to stay in school and to finish high school.  Once again, relationships is the key.

     This is a major win for our public schools and even more of a win for our students--and for our country.  An educated society leads to less people in jail; less people on welfare; more people working; more taxes being paid; and so on, and so on, and so on.  It all begins with education.  Lowering the dropout rate is very, very good news.

     The next hurdle to clear is raising the college graduation rate--which is well below 50%.  But that's a topic for another post.

Public Schools and Choice

       Is it true that public school kids and their public school parents don't have choices?  I'm sure that I will expose my igno...

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