Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Silent Epidemic
I can't fathom that this is still a "silent epidemic", but it sure is. And "epidemic" seems an insufficient word when you're talking 40-50% of major populations.

Civic Enterprises today released this report on dropouts. You know the figures - 45% of blacks and inner city students dropping out. This gets behind the numbers and talks to the young adults who now see the mistake. Some highlights:

  • "As complex as these individual circumstances
    may be, for almost all young people, dropping out of high school is not a sudden act, but a gradual process of disengagement."
  • "66% of dropouts say they would have worked harder if their high school had demanded more."

    David Broder wrote a preview opinion of this study. His solution is simple and compelling. It directly confronts one problem: the lure to students of money now verses rewards later. His solution also avoids all the other issues - taking all the pressure off the schools and the NEA to fix the problems, and letting kids muck along through more years of a process that isn't working for them.
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