Thursday, September 24, 2009

Education's Trapdoor

“You can not drop out of school and just drop into a good job.”

- President Obama

Would we notice if two large high schools disappeared? Would we notice if it happened every school day?

We recently viewed President Obama address students across the nation through a live telecast at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Virginia. His message reinforced what high school teachers have been lecturing to students for years. We have high hopes for you. Take responsibility for your own education. Put forth your best effort. Graduate – don’t drop out. And it’s not just your future, but also the future of our nation that is at stake.

Is it too cynical to worry that perhaps students only half-heard the words of another adult they mistakenly believe doesn’t get it? Is it too much to hope that the next iPod confiscated has a copy of this speech and not just a pirated copy of Super Bad?

In an August 2009 brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education, it is reported that every school day sees more than 7,000 students become dropouts. That’s the equivalent of two large high schools gone for good. Apparently, our lectures have gone unheard. Did they hear the President’s speech?

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