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 Drop Out Rates 
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I found the drop out rates in The Shame of the Nation very astonishing. Regardless of race, there is clearly a problem within a school if more than half of the student body fails to graduate. One example on p. 156 states that "there had been 178 ninth graders at the school in 1999, but there were only 80 twelfth grade student three years later."

This evokes questions such as (1)What drop-out prevention practices are in place? (2)Are students disheartened with curriculum issues? (3)Are students transferring to other schools in which they graduate? (4) Are students transferring out-of-state? (5)Are students transferring to community colleges to earn their GED? Also, do not all states have mandatory attendance until the age of 16? If so, why aren't students and their parents taken to court?

My high school has just been recognized as one of the top ten schools in North Carolina with the highest graduation rate. However, our drop-out rate is on the rise. I feel that as graduation requirements become more rigorous, more and more students will drop out. There are current debates to end the Career Course of Study and to increase math requirements. Is every child meant to attend college and is every child expected to pass Algebra 1, Algebra II, Geometry, and a higher level math?

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Callie Grubb


Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:45 pm
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I often wonder how we are meeting the needs of all children. Not all students are going to go to college. What are schools doing for these students? Is the graduation project making more competent graduates or discouraging those students who are more interested in technical skills rather than academics? We often talk about differentiating for students, I feel we should have an alternative to the graduation project for some students. I would like to see all students graduate from high school. What needs to be done to make this happen is the question schools need to be asking.

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Holly McClure


Sat Sep 13, 2008 8:01 am
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I have similar concerns as Hollie. These students are the ones that I feel like I am letting down. This year our school moved to a two track system: Honors and CTP. Honors is for highly motivated and well organized students. The rest go to CTP. I have students in CTP who I am fighting to catch up to grade level while also trying scaffold students into highter level thinking. I feel that the school system has let "career" students students down by rationalizing that all students must make a level 3 or 4 on a state test despite backgrounds, maturity, and race.

Obviously, race does play a huge role in the drop-out rate. Even though the statistics are from 2003, I am sure that the differences in graduation among different races has not made substantial improvements as of today.


Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:15 pm
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I think the the increase that we see, and will continue to see, in drop out rates goes back to statements made in The Shame of the Nation on page 262 and 266.
"ALL CHILDREN CAN LEARN!" "If the officials who repeat this incantation honestly believe all kids can learn, why aren't they fighting to make sure these kids can learn in the same good schools their own children attend?"
Children are expected in school to perform at national standards, are graded on national exams that measure their success or failure according to nationally determined norms, but yet the education they receive is so unequal in so many ways. All children are not protected by their nation in terms of education, but we expect them to perform as if they are. Is there any wonder, we lose so many kids along the way?

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Sandra Peterson


Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:52 pm
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I agree completely with the statement and philosophy behind No Child Left Behind that “All children can learn.â€

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Jennifer Blankenship


Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:26 pm
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According to our country's standards, all seem to be required to pass these classes. It seems the only options are Occupational Course of Study or pass these classes like everyone else. There is no room for other options. What happens to those students like mine? I have Intellectually Deficient Students (previously called EMD) that range in all ability levels, from barely writing a sentence to passing the regular EOG. A couple of my students can pass EOG testing at the eighth grade level and although I have faith that they will do well, I think it will be a very difficult road to pass these Algebra classes and others they are required to take for a diploma. Yet, they do not belong in the Occupational Course of Study. That seems to be our only choices when completing their "four year plans". What do I recommend to them? Is it fair to put them in a tract in which it is a good possibility they will fail? Or is it fair to them to put them in a tract well below their ability level? Education according to our government's standards just does not seem to adequately address their needs. Once again, they seem lost in the shuffle!

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Deby R Johnson


Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:15 pm
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I agree completely that the state is not offering enough choices (tracks) for our students. All students do not fit in the same mold and as a society we should not want them to all be the same. We want students to be challenged but not so overwhelmed that they give up.
I had one of those teacher 1st on Tuesday - I had an IEP meeting with one of my 7th grade parents. This child is in the 7th grade for the 1st time and will turn 16 yrs old in Jan. I can't believe it - - 16 in 7th grade. One major issue the parent had was how uncomfortable the child is attending school with younger students. While looking through the record I discovered the student had been retained in K, 1, 1, 2. However, this is a student who can pass the tests. She has scored level 4s and 3s since 3rd grade. I do not know the history from elementary school but I wonder how did this happen? What are we doing to this child's self-esteem? Are we setting this child up for failure or dropping out? Can we justify the student staying in 7th grade? It breaks my heart that this student is one that can make it in high school but will probably drop out because of their age.

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Jennifer Blankenship


Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:01 am
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