“New rules aim for lower dropout rate”

href=’http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20081029/NEWS03/810290358′>Students, educators work to cut dropouts Tonight I read the article in the News Journal that talks about the folks in Dover trying to figure out why Delaware has only a 78% graduation rate. One student told educators that, “Some girls drop out because they have kids of their own. Some students drop out because they don’t have support from their families. Some drop out because of peer pressure or bad teachers,” and another from “Penn and Dover high schools suggested smaller class sizes, alternative learning environments, day cares within high schools, more after-school activities, internship and assigning underclassmen to junior or senior mentors.” Although these are all legitimate reasons teens leave school, I found the two comments about “Schools need to prepare us for the real world,” and “Learning should be fun” to really hit the nail on the head! As I’ve blogged previously I truly believe and are not alone in thinking teaching to a test is the real reason we lose teens in 9th and 10th grade. The only thing this educated group could come up with is “Educators suggested keeping better track of chronic absenteeism and intervening early to encourage students to return to school.”
Attached to this article was a second federal look at drop outs and guess what we have more rules and mandates from a group that only funds about 6% of the education costs per student! New rules aim for lower dropout rate<a
These rules were revealed by Education Secretary Margaret Spellings while addressing educators in South Carolina. The Secretary commented on how NCLB does not ” really tackle high school accountability, and this is a giant step toward doing that.”
Under the new rules:

• States must track dropouts, along with graduates and transfers, using the same reporting system. They currently use a hodgepodge of methods that make it hard to compare states, and the National Governors Association has recommended a uniform tracking system.

• Schools, starting with the 2012 school year, must meet those targets for minority groups and kids with disabilities, as well as for the overall student population, to satisfy the yearly progress requirements of No Child Left Behind. Schools that don’t meet yearly goals face consequences, such as having to pay for tutoring or replace principals.

I’m sorry, but NCLB and Delaware’s DSTP’s have succeeded in alienating 22% of our students by forcing teachers and schools to force feed math, and english down their throats. So, now lets force every child to graduate in four years no matter what their socio-economic status or disability! Oh, and by the way lets do it with less funding from all corners!

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
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