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  • DUH!

    Filed at 4:58 am under by dcobranchi

    And the award for most obvious news flash goes, once again, to the Fayetteville Observer:

    Changes will have to happen locally as well as on a state level. Increasing the legal dropout age from 16 to 17 or even 18 should be the first order of business at the state level. Research shows that dropout rates are highest as students reach 16, the last year of required attendance.

    Wow! Kids who are going to drop out do so as soon as they legally can. Whodathunkit? And what’s to keep these same kids from dropping out at 17 or 18? Does the editorial writer really believe that forcing unmotivated inmates “students” to hang around school for another year or two is going to somehow transform them into scholars? Where’s the data?

    In 2002 twelve states plus (that bastion of exemplary public schools) DC had compulsory attendance through age 18. Do these states have a significantly lower drop-out rate? This NCES report (Table 5) would seem to indicate otherwise. Example: MD, with a CA age of 16 has a significantly lower reported dropout rate than neighboring DC. And MD’s rate is comparable to VA’s (another 18 year old CA limit state).

    Somebody with some time on his hands (and a grant from the State) ought to spend some time (and state tax dollars) to crunch the available data. I’ll lay long odds that the CA age is not a statistically significant principal component in predicting dropout rates.

    5 Responses to “DUH!”


    Comment by
    lori
    March 6th, 2007
    at 8:05 am

    In Mass., I learned yesterday, our new governor (Democrat) wants to raise the age to 18. He doesn’t think parents should have the right to allow their kids to leave school at 16.

    It’s not going to solve any problems, least of which is one of the stated ones: that black and Hispanic students drop out a much, much higher rates than whites and other minorities. What exactly is raising the age for everyone going to do to specifically target the problem of particular students dropping out?


    Comment by
    lori
    March 6th, 2007
    at 8:06 am

    Oh, I should add that homeschoolers are concerned, naturally, that the compulsory law would also apply to them, that they would not only have to continue reporting to the local school district until their kids turn 18, but also that state colleges might somehow be restricted in whether or not they can accept students under the age of 18 who don’t have a traditional h.s. diploma.


    Comment by
    Andrea
    March 6th, 2007
    at 8:26 am

    Our province pulled stuff like this already: raising the age from 16 to 17, while quietly raising the age for a GED to 19. The following year they announced “hey look! we lowered the drop out rate!”

    No, it was more like, “Hey look at our creative guy in our statistics department!”


    Comment by
    Meg
    March 6th, 2007
    at 11:10 am

    Back while we were ‘enjoying’ a trial subscription to Education Weekly – actually it was somewhat interesting what they were saying – there was a study released that said that drop-out rates weren’t effected by whether they practiced social promotion or held kids back to repeat work they didn’t understand.
    They just can’t understand that brick and motar schools discourage kids that are struggling and nothing will fix that


    Comment by
    Karen E
    March 6th, 2007
    at 10:53 pm

    I got an e-mail today about them trying to change from 16 to 18 in Maryland as well.