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Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:46 PM

High school teachers, help me out here.

I've spent my entire career in elementary schools so I'm out of my league with high school issues. But there is something I have always wondered about.

Why do we let kids drop out of school?

We don't let kids drive till they're 16. We don't let them join the military till they're 17 (I think - or is it 18?) and I believe they now have to have a a high school diploma to enlist. They can't vote till they're 18. They can't drink till they're 21.

But in spite of knowing they won't have much success in life without a high school diploma and are just barely able to make mature decisions at age 16, we let them drop out of school? (In my state, it's 17, but I think most states are age 16.)

Yes, I know we absolutely have to make school a place they want to come to. We need to meet their needs and we don't always do a good job of making them want to come to school. But that's not what I am asking here.

I want to know why we just let them drop out.

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply High school teachers, help me out here. (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Jun 2012 OP
femmocrat Jun 2012 #1
bluestateguy Jun 2012 #2
proud2BlibKansan Jun 2012 #3
TBF Jun 2012 #8
sulphurdunn Jun 2012 #17
rateyes Jun 2012 #4
rateyes Jun 2012 #5
TBF Jun 2012 #9
proud2BlibKansan Jun 2012 #10
rateyes Jun 2012 #12
wordpix Jun 2012 #15
MichiganVote Jun 2012 #6
kickysnana Jun 2012 #7
noamnety Jun 2012 #11
proud2BlibKansan Jun 2012 #16
noamnety Jun 2012 #18
Sgent Jun 2012 #20
exboyfil Mar 2020 #26
exboyfil Jun 2012 #13
mbperrin Jun 2012 #14
AnneD Jun 2012 #19
Post removed Jul 2012 #21
Name removed Dec 2019 #22
Post removed Feb 2020 #23
digitalteacher Feb 2020 #24
Name removed Mar 2020 #25
wcast Mar 2020 #27

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:51 PM

1. I guess it is pretty hard to stop a determined 17-year old.

I always proposed that we require a high school diploma to get a driver's license. I think that would work to keep them in school!

There isn't much of a future for a high school dropout, that's for sure.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 07:57 PM

2. A prohibition on dropping out would be more trouble than its worth

Law enforcement having to sweep up 16-18 year old kids at the mall or on the street corners as truants, further clogging up scare police resources.

And why force a 16,17, 18 year old kid who is hell bent on not being in school to be there where he (mostly he's, anyway) is just going to disrupt kids trying to learn and teachers trying to teach. You'd be forcing a near adult teen to be in school where he would just clown around, gang bang, bully other kids, and generally cause trouble. This is unfair to already overburdened teachers and the kids who are trying to play by the rules.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:24 PM

3. We clearly need more alternative settings

We need to rethink programs and expectations for our high school kids.

But let's say we have alternative programs, more vocational ed, more programs that really meet these kids' needs. Could we THEN move on to abolishing dropping out of school?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:17 PM

8. Definitely alternative settings -

and non-traditional paths to getting a GED (maybe with internship credits etc...). My little sis got pregnant at age 15, had 2 kids by 19, and eventually got herself back on track with a lot of help from my mom. Working part to full time she was able to get her GED, attend community college, and she is close to finishing with her social work degree now. Alot of hard work and juggling on her part. Sometimes kids get into situations like that and I am not going to be the one to judge - but I would like to see a way for them to get support and be able to turn their lives around.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 05:06 PM

17. Great ideas.

 

Now all that's needed is a lot of money and stopping Bill Gates, his political whores and Wall Street from turning public education into a cash cow for rich parasites.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:31 PM

4. years ago it was allowed to help on family farm, etc.

I agree with not allowing a driver's license til age 18 and holding a regular Hs diploma..with NO social promotion allowed

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:32 PM

5. and we need to go back to vo-tech schools

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Response to rateyes (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 09:20 PM

9. Absolutely. It is happening in my area -

I'm in a fast-growing suburb in Texas. Traditionally there was one high school here that kept growing. A few years ago a new campus was built that is already a college prep powerhouse, and now they want to build one more that is voc tech. It is sorely needed and it spreads the kids out more rather than one huge school. We have a strong tax base here, but would like to see this sort of thing all over. I really wish educational funding were federal.

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Response to rateyes (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:13 PM

10. Do you know why those were abandoned?

Claire McCaskill explained it to me. There was a federal fund that paid for vo-tech programs. After NCLB was passed, the money that went to that fund was diverted to pay for academic programs.

In other words, can't give a standardized test for woodworking or auto mechanics.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #10)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 02:11 AM

12. exactly. NCLB has left far too many behind because of the cookie cutter way we

are trying to teach our students.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 01:30 PM

15. AHA, so THAT's what happened. I'm one for vo-tech 100%. I work with LD, ADD, SpecEd students

and the fact is, some by the age of 16 are not academically inclined. They will work on reading, writing and math improvement and will come to school regularly only if they're motivated. If "regular classes" don't motivate but building and fixing things (or culinary arts and agriculture) will, vo-tech MUST come back.

School leaders (and the fed Dept. of Ed) need to realize that plumbers and fix-it men make a hell of a lot more money than teachers and writers, and the former contribute to the good of society just as much. And if you don't teach students some kind of money-making skills, they will be out on the street stealing, selling drugs and turning to prostitution to make ends meet when they drop out.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 08:32 PM

6. Who says we do?

 

States are free to determine an 'age of consent' when it comes to attending school. At 16 in Michigan, with parent permission, youth can quit school. There has been talk of raising that to age 18.

Local counties have truancy officers. Like everything else when it comes to education--there is usually one, maybe two for very populated areas, for an entire county of school districts. They get referrals, have to check out whatever data there is, contact parents and refer cases to the local courts.

Many times the families are experiencing trouble-drugs,alcohol,housing--usually the more serious stuff. But like I said, takes a system to provide support to the families and / or kids. Regardless, no significant case of truancy will ever have nearly enuf' of the societal supports needed at this time.

When a case is referred to court, it often languishes. Court types are reluctant to place in kid in juvenile for not attending school. One, they often lack space and need the beds for far more serious problems, and two, the follow up that is necessary by the court/truancy office is very labor intensive. Often the kids or families 'disappear' into their family systems who usually complain about the schools or the kid. Go figure.

In my experience, truancy among kids, like tooth decay, is not a problem that arrives overnight. Kids with truancy problems usually come from backgrounds that place more value on other things. Sometimes the kids are overindulged and allowed to stay home too often by caregivers. At other times, nobody in the home really wants to expend the energy to be responsible. In addition, for some kids school has meant trouble for a variety of reasons and the caregivers often give up. As the kids get behind and they progress in grades, school is a 'failure activity'. Not something most of us want to do. They are behind in their skills, they give up, they quit. Like a hereditary health condition, this circumstance runs in families.

If you show me a school record that shows excessive absences from grades k-2nd, I'll show you a kid who will be truant and / or will quit school. So long as this country's leaders continue to provide mere lip service about the importance of an education with next to nothing in meaningful support, nothing will change other than who gets the blame. Edited to add: The problem is not about our students lacking good smarts to perform Math or Sciences. The problem is our will to support our young to learn and attend school--no matter what.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 11:48 PM

11. Sometimes they have adult responsibilities at that age.

 

Kids to take care of, either their own or younger siblings if their parents are absent or unable to be caretakers. Sometimes they're living on their own at that age and need to support themselves.

Sometimes they are in situations at school where they are the victim of bullying and staying in school might be driving them to depression or suicide.

Sometimes they have social anxiety that's not the fault of other people, and just can't handle the environment.

Sometimes high school is too easy for them and is just training them to hate school, training them how to hate learning. It can be a few years of an intellectual wasteland.

I dropped out of high school after 10th grade at age 16. I finished my masters a few years ago but I still don't have a GED or high school diploma.

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Response to noamnety (Reply #11)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 01:34 PM

16. I didn't know you could get into college without a high school diploma or GED

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #16)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 11:18 PM

18. Depends on the college and situation.

 

Cali and I both went that route.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 08:02 PM

20. I know I seriously considered it when I was younger

most colleges (esp. state colleges) have exceptions if you are in good standing in HS and meet other entry requirements (usually ACT/SAT scores, good-excellent grades, maybe subject specific scores). Its really meant for high performing HS Sophomores and Juniors who want to go directly into college.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #16)

Sat Mar 14, 2020, 03:07 AM

26. Easy in Iowa

Just declare yourself home schooled and pass an aptitude test. We have many kids who actually are doing college at 16 while finishing their homeschooling. My daughters did both. They took college classes and applied them to high school credit towards graduation (especially in 11th and 12th grade).

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 03:00 AM

13. Kind of like the apple concept

One or two bad ones spoil the whole bushel. Already discipline problems for middle and early high schoolers makes learning difficult for students. I would rather address the needs of those students than students who do not care to attend. I also support alternative paths to learning (my daughter's friend is switching to Homeschooling next year as a Junior because she does not like attending school - I admire her parents for accomodating the needs of their child). We have an alternative High School, but I do not have a clue what goes on in it. After one year at the High School my rising 11th grader is ready for full-time college. She is taking Chemistry this summer at the local University. She is tired of being treated like a child. My rising 9th grader keeps playing with the idea of full-time Home Schooling (she was Homeschooled 1/3 of the time this past two years).

What the school system tries to do is hold students back from accomplishing their goals. My daughter's other friend was prevented from taking the AP English classes because she will be an 11th grader next year. Her mom does not have the resources I have to just send my daughter to college and bypass the B.S. Another teacher complained about allowing students to accelerate at the middle school in Science requiring the addition of another section of Biology. She also complained about having many kids (including my daughter) who do not take science classes at the High School in 11th and 12th grade.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Fri Jun 22, 2012, 01:30 AM

14. In Texas, you cannot drop out until age 18, and to have a driver's license

before 18, you must be enrolled and passing.

In Texas, the voting age, lottery ticket purchase, tobacco purchase, marriage without parent consent are all 18. There seems to be a feeling at the lawmaker level that they're ready to do anything except drink at that age (I disagree).

At the high school where I teach, we have about 150 overage students out of 3000 students - Texas allows attendance at school until the age of 22. I have had sections of these in the past, but attendance is terrible, and someone finally explained to me that these were our drug dealers, who needed to be on campus to be close to their market.

So I do think that an alternative setting is required for older students - voc education would also be good - we had it before NCLB, and our completion rate was better then than now.

Here, there seems to be a feeling of they're "finished" at 18. You know and I know that critical thinking isn't attained until age 25 by a large segment of the population, so that can't be true. When you look at the cost of what we do now - crime, poverty, despair - it does seem we could spend some money to change that.

But talking sense to a Texas politician is like talking with a stump - you'll get tired before they do, and they cannot be moved.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:23 PM

19. Although I am a School Nurse....

I have been at all grade levels for over 20 years and this is what I have learned.

All kids are not alike. All have different gifts and use them as they are taught. That gang banger that is good with a knife or gun could be a skilled surgeon or mechanical engineer if given the right teaching.

All learn in different ways. Some learn by sight, some hearing, and some more through hands on, and some through a mix. A good teacher tries to discover how to teach each child.

Not everyone is college bound. Forcing a kid into rigorous academics when they should 'learn a skill' leads to boredom, frustration, and disengagement. Kids need a sense of pride and achievement-really it is a human trait. A true craftsman can be as artistic and offer an elegant solution as any physics problem.

No test can truly measure or quantify what a human can accomplish. Would Helen Keller have accomplished what she did without Annie Sullivan?

All this crap about testing only serves to mask the lack of funding that has occurred in our education. It has served to kill the joy in learning and the general dumbing down of our educational system.

And that leads me to this conclusion (to paraphrase George Carlin). They want us to be smart enough to read the instruction and work the machines, but dumb enough not to think about how bad they are screwing us.

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Response to AnneD (Reply #19)


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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 01:53 AM

24. Absolutely it happens in My Area

I have seen so many children they are stopped their education in the age b/w 15 to 20. Due to Poor Background, lack of knowledge about education etc..

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)


Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sat Mar 14, 2020, 08:31 AM

27. In PA it is law

Compulsory education is from 8 to 17. Day you turn 17 you can walk out with no repercussions. Shots are also not required. Homeschooling is huge with little oversight or caring. This is all based on religion.

Cyber charter schools make as much per student as brick and mortar schools with little accountability. Many kids drop out by enrolling in cyber charters and then not attending/logging on. Their requirements are much lower and they supply ipads, computers, printers, even internet as there is little cost for them. All of these costs are taken directly from the local school district's state reimbursement.There are some poor districts that can't afford to operate buildings due to this. These cyber schools under perform the vast majority of school districts.

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