Saturday, October 25, 2008

High school dropouts

The Associated Press has an interesting piece out on a report on high school graduation rates in the U.S. They're not going in the right direction: Kids less likely to graduate than parents. This doesn't particularly surprise me.

There's a reason home schooling rates are climbing, and it's not religious fundamentalism. Kids don't drop out -- they're pushed out. One of the unintended consequences of legislation like No Child Left Behind, which looks at schools in terms of aggregate data -- the overall average of how the students perform -- is that schools are going to start doing their damnedest to shove the marginal students, the low performing students, the students who might drag the average down, out the door as quickly as possible.

NCLB does say schools have to improve graduation rates, but the bar is set pretty low -- according to the AP it's as low as 1/10th of a percent annually -- and with the emphasis set a lot higher on improving test scores than it is on retention, it's not surprising test scores would win.


  1. I am not surprised by this at all. NCLB has caused an over emphasis on passing meaningless tests instead of concentrating on passing high school. The tests cause a one size fits all mentality by "non-educational" by standers who control education at the federal and state levels.

    In Georgia we have a new math curiculum that is absolutely going to ruin the low level and mid low level students. But it will be great for the kids who work hard, do what they are supposed to do and are intelligent enough to know how to work the system. To Graduate high school every student must take 4 math classes which include content upto precalculus.

    This is great for the college bound math/science students but so great for the English, art,music or PE focused kids.

  2. I read a similar article in my DAM news the other day, and showed that young teenage pregnacies by Jamie lynn spears and bristol palin are making it seem like its a cool thing and they showed the results of the teen pregnacies..drop outs, no father in the picture, the kid grows up drops out, gets pregnant..etc..a vicious chain..spousal abuse which leads into the child watching it growing up to either doing the abusing or being abused...thanks a lot mom's who say"oh it's terrible but we're so glad to be able to have the baby"....uh...ok!

  3. the good part of it right now?...john lennon's singing imagine on the radio.


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