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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:30 PM

Report: High school dropouts cost economy billions

Source: Associated Press

High school dropouts are costing some $1.8 billion in lost tax revenue every year, education advocates said in a report released Monday.

If states were to increase their graduation rates, state and federal lawmakers could be plugging their budgets with workers’ taxes instead of furloughing teachers, closing drivers-license offices and cutting unemployment benefits. While advocates tend to focus on the moral argument that all children deserve a quality education, they could just as easily look at budgets’ bottom lines.

That’s part of the reason Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday introduced a three-year, $15 million effort to put AmeriCorps members in 60 of the nation’s worst schools. About 650 AmeriCorps members are going to try to raise graduation rates, increase math and reading skills and prepare more students for college.

“Turning around our nation’s lowest-performing schools is challenging work that requires everyone to play a part — from teachers, administrators and counselors to business leaders, the philanthropic sector and community members,” Duncan said.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/free/20130225high-school-dropouts-cost-economy.html

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Reply Report: High school dropouts cost economy billions (Original post)
Redfairen Feb 2013 OP
dipsydoodle Feb 2013 #1
customerserviceguy Feb 2013 #3
Rosa Luxemburg Feb 2013 #2
Nevernose Feb 2013 #4
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #5
jtuck004 Feb 2013 #6

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:40 PM

1. Artificial reasoning

unless it can be substantiated they'd all have jobs to go to. Would all such jobs in fact be available ?

Only the moral argument is sound.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:06 PM

3. What do you mean??!!!

If we all graduated from medical school, we'd all be doctors!

J/K, you make an extremely great point, I just wanted to emphasize it with my sarcastic sense of humor.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:49 PM

2. Most of the students need to go on a vocational track so they can find jobs

many of them haven't a hope of graduating - working on Hamlet and the Odyssey is a waste of time. Learning a trade, computers would be the best way forward. Besides if they are taught to be entrepreneurs they can start businesses - stim. economy

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:13 PM

4. Schools can be blamed for many things

The drop out rate is practically the only thing they can't be blamed for. That's a decision that only students and parents can make, not educators.

And maybe if we got rid of this stupid one-size-fits-all educational outcome mentality. Why is every student in a state on the same college track educational path? How does that make any sense?

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:46 PM

5. Which politicians arranged for American manufacturing jobs to be shipped to foreign countries

 

instead of maintaining those jobs in this country?

Are all the manufacturing workers in those countries all high-school graduates?

Arne Duncan's interest is help AmeriCorps harvest public assets.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:11 PM

6. Wow. What a great story, with irrefutable logic. Uh huh.


If we would just graduate more, more people would get all those jobs that are out there.
Data from the January empsit and JOLTS numbers:

12,332,000 - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm
7,973,000 - http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t08.htm
6,781,000 - http://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpseea38.htm
27,086,000 - Total unemployed people who want a job

3,600,000 million job openings the last day in December - http://www.bls.gov/jlt/

So much for the math, If there were, say, 24 million more jobs out there, the above might work.

But it goes further than that. From the article:


...
“This has huge economic implications,” said John Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises, a public policy group that helped write the report.

That’s part of the reason Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday introduced a three-year, $15 million effort to put AmeriCorps members in 60 of the nation’s worst schools. About 650 AmeriCorps members are going to try to raise graduation rates, increase math and reading skills and prepare more students for college.
...


Oh, I get it. They want to dump 650 barely educated students with no experience into the nation's "worst" schools to fix the problem, while firing experienced teachers, teachers who would otherwise be doing a great job except that no teacher can address the real problem these kids face.

To the West of me is a school district with 85% of the students on free or reduced lunch. To the East of me is a district where half of the students are on free or reduced lunch. That means their household is at 200% of the poverty rate or lower. That's a far different starting point than in more affluent homes. Most likely they began life behind everyone else, with lousy access to prenatal care and nutrition.

They are then much more likely to be raised in a single-parent household, in places where even being "home' is not safe, much less on the streets around them, and maybe not even in the school. A high percentage of those parents are very likely the ones who went through the school system when the graduation rates were 50 and 60%, before the latest "improvements", so very likely many of those parents either don't read much, or whose memories of school may well be painful, or worse. We know children learn in the womb, but are the odds that a single parent trying to survive on a Walmart salary or coming home with aching back or feet from a dangerous job at the meat packing plant has the energy, much less the appreciation, or even ability to read to them, played music for them before, or even after they were born? If they work in the meat packing plant they may not even have all their fingers left to turn the pages.

Oh, yeah. If dad is black, 1/3 of that population spends time in jail during their lives, far more likely to go to jail (or be shot) than others when stopped by the popo, and are thus crippled economically for the rest of their lives for no reason other than skin color.

Do they even have crayons to color with? In a home where the income is much higher, kids might even be given the backs of annual reports to color on. In these homes? Even the backs of contracts from payday lenders don't have white space. Their parents, unlike in more affluent areas, don't have the money to get them involved in extra curricular activities like debate club, Girl or Boy Scouts (okay, that one might be a blessing), trips to Disneyland or museums, all of which are learning venues for people who have the money. And a running car most of the year. Some might get onto a sports team if a school recognized superior athletic ability, in which case they might be used by the schools but with far less than a scant chance that this will do more for them than learning what is taught in the classes, which is often skipped over if the kid can hit a ball.

You get the idea. Of course, well-meaning people will know most of this already, but in a knee-jerk reaction of trying to "help those poor unfortunates" they will then try to spend money on the misnamed "head start", as if it provides anything like that for kids who already start 5 or 6 years behind everyone else, whose only good meal comes from the one they might get at school, and are thus poorly situated to take advantage of any kind of accelerated effort. Such programs are never going to provide the same benefits for those kids, but are often seen as useful by those who feel "for" others, instead of feeling "like" they do by facing the same challenges.

Really want to make a change, not just "hep someone"? Invest money in their parents so they can provide the only early learning that really matters. Invest in infrastructure, so the neighborhoods are safe and well-lit. Address the racism in the police departments and other government offices so the parents have a fair chance to take advantage of our commons like everyone else does. Invest in adult schools where people can learn that education is to their benefit, instead of remembering a building where they were treated poorly for only as many years as they had to go before they escaped. And start a jobs program, so that demand can increase and more jobs can be created which actually lets parents earn the the money to live like most of that 75% who do graduate. Take the money away from the thieving bankers and put their asses in jail where they belong. (There's some "head start" for you. What a great lesson that would be for kids whose parents are in jail for not paying a traffic ticket, eh?).

Far too many people are disposable, and no program that doesn't address that is going to fix the problem.


... There is a complete disconnect in Washington from the quiet desperation of American lives. While politicians chatter talking points and claim lobbyists' agendas are somehow sane economic and labor policy, a full 23% of Americans have been fired in the last four years. That is disposable work syndrome and that is the crisis of our time, not the rhetorical fictional spin spewing from the mouths of politicians.

Of the almost a quarter of working America fired in the last four years, a full 22% cannot find another job. That's roughly eight million people.
...


Here.

Because without jobs, and without addressing the inequalities in the lives of those kids, the only thing we might get from this is a slightly more educated group of unemployed people. And we have enough of them already.




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