The real tragedy ... education

Discussion in 'Economics' started by scriabinop23, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. This is scary.

    WASHINGTON – Seventeen of the nation's 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday.
    Top 50

    Grad rates at a glance
    A look at graduation rates for the main school systems in the nation's 50 largest cities.

    The report, issued by America's Promise Alliance, found that about half of the students served by public school systems in the nation's largest cities receive diplomas. Students in suburban and rural public high schools were more likely to graduate than their counterparts in urban public high schools, the researchers said.

    Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually.

    “When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe,” said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the alliance.
    His wife, Alma Powell, the chair of the alliance, said students need to graduate with skills that will help them in higher education and beyond. “We must invest in the whole child, and that means finding solutions that involve the family, the school and the community.” The Powell's organization was beginning a national campaign to cut high school dropout rates.

    The group, joining Education Secretary Margaret Spellings at a Tuesday news conference, was announcing plans to hold summits in every state during the next two years on ways to better prepare students for college and the work force.

    The report found troubling data on the prospects of urban public high school students getting to college. In Detroit's public schools, 24.9 percent of the students graduated from high school, while 30.5 percent graduated in Indianapolis Public Schools and 34.1 percent received diplomas in the Cleveland Municipal City School District.

    Researchers analyzed school district data from 2003-2004 collected by the U.S. Department of Education. To calculate graduation rates, the report estimated the likelihood that a 9th grader would complete high school on time with a regular diploma. Researchers used school enrollment and diploma data, but did not use data on dropouts as part of its calculation.

    Many metropolitan areas also showed a considerable gap in the graduation rates between their inner-city schools and the surrounding suburbs. Researchers found, for example, that 81.5 percent of the public school students in Baltimore's suburbs graduate, compared with 34.6 percent in the city schools.

    In Ohio, nearly 83 percent of public high school students in suburban Columbus graduate while 78.1 percent in suburban Cleveland earn their diplomas, well above their local city schools.

    Ohio Department of Education spokesman Scott Blake said the state delays its estimates by a few months so it can include summer graduates in its calculations. Based on the state's methodology, he said Columbus graduated 60.6 percent of its students in 2003-2004, rather than the 40.9 percent the study calculated.

    By Ohio's reckoning, Columbus has improved each year since the 2001-2002 school year, with 72.9 percent of students graduating in 2005-2006, Columbus Public Schools spokesman Jeff Weaver said.

    Weaver said the gains were partly because of after-school and weekend tutoring, coordinated literacy programs in the district's elementary schools and bolstered English-as-a-second-language programs.

    Cleveland's current graduation rates are also higher than the statistics cited in the new report, school district spokesman Ben Holbert said.

    Spellings has called for requiring states to provide graduation data in a more uniform way under the renewal of the No Child Left Behind education law pending in Congress.

    Under the 2002 law, schools that miss progress goals face increasing sanctions, including forced use of federal money for private tutoring, easing student transfers, and restructuring of school staff.

    States calculate their graduation rates using all sorts of methods, many of which critics say are based on unreliable information about school dropouts. Under No Child Left Behind, states may use their own methods of calculating graduation rates and set their own goals for improving them.

    The research was conducted by Editorial Projects in Education, a Bethesda, Md., nonprofit organization, with support from America's Promise Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

    The alliance is based on a joint effort of nonprofit groups, corporations, community leaders, charities, faith-based organizations and individuals to improve children's lives.
  2. States calculate their graduation rates using all sorts of methods, many of which critics say are based on unreliable information about school dropouts. Under No Child Left Behind, states may use their own methods of calculating graduation rates and set their own goals for improving them.


    This is the key paragraph. Coming to a theater near you: Graduate rates WILL improve, they will change the formula for calculating grad rates. Voila!

    Frankly, I suppose counting the diploma's that are printed and handed out with a persons name is old school. Obviously, there are other ways to calculate graduation rates. Problem is, many suburban families have 2.5 kids, in urban areas they have 6.3 kids, and some people don't have any children but list "them as dependents for a tax deduction" (real handy this time of year), I think that's the snafu. Some drop out and graduate 40 years later, what is a statician to do?

    On a side note, studies have shown GED vs drop out, no difference financially.
  3. Many focus on how schools need to be better funded, but I'm from the camp that thinks it needs to start at home. I learned my work ethic from my dad, not from any federal or state funded program or my teachers. The problem lies at home with the values being taught... I think its a problem of broken inner-city families and the lack of real direction for these kids.
  4. absolutely.. there is a economical/cultural cycle of destruction that is wreaking havoc. Responsible partially for high imprisonment rates as well as these graduation rates. Certainly widens the disparity between the haves and have nots.

    This is as much, if not more, a crisis in America as the housing/credit bubble pop-runout.
  5. Public education could stop as of tonite, but the motivated will still learn.
    The rest just show up for the free bkfst and lunch.
    I'd bet most here don't know that if you have a child that's adjudicated as "special needs" by a school diagnostician and the school's psychologist, (or the one they send you to for free), you can get a monthly check from Social Security. I"m not talking about "Special Education" students.
    In the 80s it was about $400 a month.
    The school district gets more $$ too.
    We'd be dismayed to find out the percentage of these recipients who are here illegally.
    In the southern border states, the vast majority of those on free and reduced bkfst/lunch plans are illegal aliens.
    Your tax dollars at work.
  6. If the statistics could show the proportion of functionally literate it would be even scarier. Many people are holding HS diplomas from large city schools who can't even read.

    Ten years ago or so (2 miles from Wall Street) I had an apartment gutted out in a building in a large NJ city. The dumpster was placed in the yard.
    Seeing it a young girl who lived in the building approached me asking me if she could help filling it because she needed work since she just finished high school.

    I said I already promised two boys from downstairs that they could help but I would let her help next time. Asked her why she did not look in the local paper for regular work since they were hundreds of listings in the local paper and a mini shopping center was opening three blocks away . She replied: I do not know how to read, my sister would have to read the paper for me!

    In the largest NJ city (10 miles from Wall Street) I went into an inner city supermarket for a second to pick up something. The checkout person, a grown young woman, handling it held it up and turned with a quizzed look to the other checkout lady behind her, who said: scallions! This poor soul did not know the name of scallions!

    What is even more outrageous is that this is tolerated at every level.
    Upon relaying this story to a liberal well educated friend of mine she said: it is all cultural, how could she know if she did not grow up with it?
  7. I agree with the guy above.
    The housing debt and drop out rates are related. Stinking lazy parents. I have to sit with my kids for 1 hour each and re-teach them with the home work. I ask them how the teacher told them to do it, and they say they didn't, they just hand out the papers and say "go at it". I have one smart kid and one a.d.d. kid so it's a bunch of work to do. My kids have always scrored near the top of the class and the 90% of the State testing. I know there are a bunch of parents that won't/can't/don't take the time, and we all pay for that.
    Maybe global warming will drown the stupid ones that won't move away from the coast when the ocean rises.
  8. Your friend is right, what the hell does not knowing the name of scallion have anything to do with education in this country?

    Stop being such an elitist snob and sensationalize non events. "The largest NJ city (10 miles from Wall Street" is newark, the city is well known as the ghetto of the country for at least the last 2 decades, so why are you all surprised a HS kid or someone working as a cashier there isnt the next einstein?
  9. "Your friend is right, what the hell does not knowing the name of scallion have anything to do with education in this country?"

    Score one for the defense.

    This is where the person works, they should know what they sell. An educated person may be motivated enough to learn the inventory or understand and answer the complex business concept "I don't eat scallions why do I need to know about that".
  10. maybe, but dude the girl works at a supermarket in a ghetto city as a cashier earning minimum wage...I really dont think the average expectation is they will be motivated enough go and learn all the products the supermarket sells. I am sure some will, and get promoted to manager etc..but most doesnt care enough about the job to do it.

    Now if your argument is say a trader needs to know the security products he trades, then you got a point there. Although i am not sure how true that really is nowdays in the churn farms...err banks.
    #10     Apr 7, 2008