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The high school dropout problem

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by PLC1, May 11, 2009.

  1. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The following editorial appeared in the New York Times. It has part of the situation right:


    The Dropout Crisis

    Correct. High school dropouts are causing the US to lose ground educationally to rivals abroad. I'd go even further, and say that this situation must be reversed, or the US is likely to become a backwater, third world country before much longer. We can't have a 21st. century nation with a 19th. century educational system.

    Partly correct.

    Throwing money at this problem won't make it go away, but a comprehensive strategy is called for.

    Starting with getting the federal government to do what it is supposed to do, and allowing the states to do what they are supposed to do, including educate the next generation.

    And, including less centralization, not more, and emphasizing choice over a one size fits all program.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    It's kinda hypocritical to make such a suggestion, when we reward representatives of a "19th. century educational system".

    :rolleyes:
     
  3. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Why post when you aren't responding to the thread, and can do no more than make pretty colors and give unrelated links?:confused:
     
  4. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I would add that much of the problem with our educational system exist primarily in urban poverty stricken areas. People don't believe that education has value for kids or in the case of the kids for themselves. Some schools are dangerous - who can learn when the more pressing issue is to keep from getting shot? They have the worst teachers too.

    Yet throwing money at it has done nothing.

    Trite but true; you can't teach a kid if he does not want to learn.
     
  5. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    And yet, I'd submit that every young child wants to learn. They may not want to learn what the teacher is trying to teach, but they do want to learn.

    Further, many of them do want to learn what the teacher is trying to teach. The problem is, the ones who don't take up all of the teacher's time.

    Do inner city schools have the worst teachers? It seems that they have the least experienced, at least. Once a teacher has enough seniority to get transferred to a decent school in the suburbs, most of them do.

    Yet, there are some heroes who stay in failing schools and rescue some of the kids from a life of poverty.
     
  6. Carlo Rossi

    Carlo Rossi New Member

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    The teachers unions and the liberal school boards that bend over and grab their ankles for them own this problem.
     
  7. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Well-Known Member

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    I would bet that you are right.

    The unfortunate child is facing obstacles that inevitably turn him against learning. It happens in the good schools too. But in the poor schools they too often just give up trying. By the time they are a young adult they have no hope that they will learn enough to be competitive in this world. What alternative is there except to use political strength to coerce funds from others to be directed their way?

    Redistribution is wanted by those who do not think they can achieve on their own. It also seems to be wanted by those who have achieved and feel guilty about it.

    What we need are real solutions.

    Schools need to be first safe. Then the kids need to have a realistic expectation that it will teach them something based on evidence. Then it needs to prepare them to be competitive. Rather than to teach them half the gobbledeygook schools teach.

    If all schools turn out good students then there will be no argument for redistribution.

    A hundred years ago students were taught with all ages in one classroom and the only tool the teacher had was a couple of books and a blackboard. Money is not the answer. Communities that support the school and parents that give kids hope and teachers that give kids evidence that the hope is warranted and curiculum that makes sense is what is needed.

    I don't know how to make a declining community support a school.
    I don't know how to make a crack head mother give her kids hope.
    I don't know how a teacher is supposed to fight against these odds.
    I don't know how to make politicians let schools made sensible curiculum.
     
  8. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Neither do I.

    I'm not sure that there is any one answer, or any one way to do any of the above, at least not in every case.

    We could give some of the kids a chance by decentralization and choice. Each school site should have a council of teachers and parents, whose job it is to set standards for student achievement and behavior. Parents, then, could choose to send their child there, or somewhere else, but would have to abide by the school's standards.

    Parents who won't make their child work, and students who aren't there to learn, would have to go elsewhere.

    Of course, those schools with low standards would have a very difficult situation, but those parents who do support their children, and those children who haven't given up on life, would have a chance. As it is now, chances for success in poorly performing schools is very limited.

    And, that is neither fair to the kids, nor a way to succeed as a nation.
     
  9. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    It's a cold hard fact that some kids do not, will not, and refuse to learn. We as a nation, should not be funding the education of those who don't care to learn. The shear number of educated criminals in jail is a sign that education doesn't fix problems. India is another good example.
     
  10. bododie

    bododie New Member

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    May 19th, 2009
    Report: More than half of Latinas pregnant before 20

    (CNN) — She had many plans for the future: to go to college, start a career, meet the man of her dreams, raise a family — when the time was right.

    It was all cut off by an unexpected pregnancy. The baby became her life, consuming her energy and forcing her dreams to the back burner of her life.

    She is 20 or younger. And already has had her first baby.

    National teen pregnancy rates have plummeted by one-third since the 1990s, but the overall teen birth rate is rising again after 14 years of decline. Latino teens have the highest rate of teen pregnancy and births among all racial and ethnic groups with more than half of young Latinas carrying a child before the age of 20.

    Latina birth rates have declined half as fast as black or white teens’, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the Hispanic advocacy group National Council of La Raza. The survey reveals pregnancy rates among young Latinas at twice the national average.

    “There’s a big disconnect between pregnancy rates and what Latina families want and value,” said Ruthie Flores, senior manager of the National Campaign’s Latino Initiative.

    Latino girls and women yearn to graduate from college and have successful lives, but the reality is that many are hampered by unexpected pregnancies, Flores said.

    Latina teens tend to wait to for their “sexual debut,” Flores said, but once they become active, they are less prone to using contraception than other teen girls. It is also socially acceptable for Latinas to date older men, Flores said.

    She said the biggest influence on Latinas are their parents and, despite a rich culture and the growing influence of Hispanics in America, the Latino community disproportionately suffers from troubling social indicators, the National Campaign survey found.

    Consider that fewer than six in 10 Latino adults in the United States have a high school diploma. Latino teens are more likely to drop out than their non-Hispanic counterparts, and of all the children living in poverty, 30 percent are Latino.

    “Teen pregnancy is not an isolated issue,” Flores said. “It’s related to poverty, to dropout rates. That’s going to have an impact on our national as a whole.”
    Flores said 69 percent of Latino teen moms drop out of high school, while the children of teen mothers are less likely to do well in school themselves and often repeat grades.

    “That has a big economic impact,” Flores said.

    It’s an impact that is sure to be noticed. By 2025, one-quarter of all American teens will be Latinos.

    So... What is the solution here?
     
  11. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    There are at least three solutions, all readily available:

    condoms
    abstinence (keep your knees together, girl! Keep your pants zipped, boys!)
    the pill

    Take your pick.
     
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