A “dropout factory” is a nickname given to schools with a student dropout rate of 40%. With 1,700 high schools (including vocational) classified as “dropout factories,” American’s are in crisis mode.Yearly, approximately half of the students that do not graduate high school come from about 12% of high schools.These “dropout factories” largely come from poor rural and urban areas.
According to Dr. Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, in her article: No Excuses: We Need 100 Percent High School Graduation, graduation rates in America are “crumbling at a disturbing rate.” She notes that 25% of all students not earning a high school diploma, and 60% of minority students do not finish high school. Dr. Bonilla-Santiago warns that if this trend continues that the American workforce will not be able to compete with the global economy. Initivatives that hope to acheive 90% graduation rates may be too low, as it gives students the message that a high school diploma is not a necessity.The article goes on to outline methods to lower, and even elimate student drop out rates, using techniques used at EAP Academy University Charter School in Camden, N.J., a school that had 8 classes with 100% graduation rates. It cites low self-confidence when it comes to learning, and lack of academic resources as some of the main reasons behind students dropping out.
I agree that a higher educated population is positive for society, and that we need to increase graduation rates. However, there complicated reasons behind why a student may drop out. A school may be able to address the majority of these reasons, but students are individual people with their own individual goals and ideas. A school can and should create an environment of learning and provide support, but only the individual student can choose to accept it.
Overall, 100% is a great goal for a school to have. That means that every student is engaged and able to succeed. However, not reaching an 100% mark should not imply that a school has failed.