I read the Civic Enterprises report on high school dropouts and I was shocked at some of the stats in the report. The report certainly gives a new look at the high school drop out and why they drop out.
Onto the not so shocking stats for me first.
The report said that 47% of the people polled said classes were not interesting. Not a shocking stat at all. Seen students say this before in other articles I posted on this website.
Two-thirds said they would have worked harder if forced upon by a higher academic standard. To go with that stat 81% want more real world learning inside the classroom. The people that they questioned gave out the same type of answers like the class was not interesting or that we had no learning done in the class at all. I have seen this response before. These types of stats I have seen before and my educational plan with the curriculum that I would like to see in the school system aims to give them the higher academic standard the students want. The “High Schools That Work” idea does do a lot more for real world learning inside of the classroom.
43% said they missed to many days of class and could not keep up. If the classes were not interesting they must have been missing to many class days that probably caused some of them to not be able to catch up with all the homework assignments imo.
54% said they were ill prepared for high school. I will say that is a good reason for dropping out. The report says that after school programs were not available for them to get necessary attention. That is something that is going to have to be addressed in order to help solve the high school drop out problem.
32% said they had to repeat a grade level. That is not a good sign at all and certainly something that I would think is a major sign they will drop out in the future. To go with that stat 29% said they had doubts if they put in the necessary work they would even graduate high school. That to me that says the teachers are not giving out enough encouragement to the students to say that they can graduate from high school.
38% said they had too much freedom to do what they wanted. Parents are going to have to step up to the place here and lay down the law more. School districts with lax rules for skipping school are going to have to be changed.
32% of dropouts said they needed to get a job that caused them to drop out of school. I have read stories like this so that does not surprise me at all. Is the economy as good as some people say it is? I say no. 26% also said they became a parent and 22% said they needed to care for a family member. For some of these dropouts family problems must be the big part of them wanting to drop out, which to me is not such a good thing.
Now onto the one set of shocking stats.
88% of students had a passing grades while 62% of them had a C grades or better. This really surprised me and was the only real shocking stat for me in the report. All the articles I have read on high school dropouts had them needing to find work, or were skipping class to much, or were falling way back on school assignments. That was all the major multi part series on this topic from the Detroit News, Rocky Mountain News, and LA Times focused on. I have no clue why a student that is getting good grades as this report suggests needs to drop out of school. If these stats are correct even the media is missing the full story on high school dropouts.
It was nice to know though most of the students did not blame the school only as the sole reason for them failing. Most of the students polled said they would not drop out if they had to do it over again. I do think that when a student does drop out of school that is tough for them to actually go through all the steps and finally graduate. These students can be saved before it is to late though.
The people polled even gave out ideas on how fix the school system. One idea was lower class room sizes that I like, but can be highly debatable if they work. Another idea was increased parental involvement in the school system which is always a good thing. They also wanted more involvement by the school system with outside problems. Troubled teens could really use the extra help and save them from becoming the next dropout.
The title of the report is called the silent epidemic and I have to agree with it. The one set of shocking stats shows a totally different viewpoint on the high school drop out crisis and says that we have to look out for every single student when they go to school. No fix will be easy and no one fix will be a 100% cure, but changes are going to have to take place.
To comment on my commentary: RichardGinn@myeducationalplan.com
LA Times dropout series link: http://www.latimes.com/news/
The Rocky Mountain News dropout series link:
The Detroit News dropout series link:
Toppo, Greg "Dropouts say their schools
expected too little of the+m" USA Today (2006)
n. pag. Online.Internet, March 1, 2006
Bridgeland, John. M, John J. DiIulio, Jr., and Karen Burke
Morison "The Silent Epidemic Perspectives of High School
Dropouts" Civic Enterprises (2006) n. pag. Online.