Archive for Sunday, November 8, 2009

LHS Dropout Rates, by Brendan Golledge

November 8, 2009


The quantity of dropouts at Lawrence High School should not concern me, my teachers, or the Education Board. This is because the dropout rate is sufficiently low, and the test scores sufficiently high to indicate that most of the people who could use a degree do, and that the degree offered by LHS is as good as any other. Any program designed to lower the dropout rate would target the least intelligent and least motivated people, which would nearly guarantee that it would drag down anyone who did not fit in this category.

The United States is undoubtedly one of the richest nations on earth, but that does not mean that every other person can be a doctor or lawyer. The majority of Americans (or at least a portion larger than our percent dropout rate) work at jobs that require little or no skill, or specific vocational skills that are not enhanced in an academic setting. It is my belief that the dropout rate should be somewhat increased, because a very large portion of Americans do not use any of the knowledge they learned in high school. Increasing the dropout rate would allow schools to cut back drastically on costs, especially because a large portion of the money spent in schools is used to keep people there that do not want to be, or on special services for those who are not quite so gifted. Being more selective in high school would also allow for a focusing of resources on higher level education.

I am satisfied with the education system at LHS. There is an impressively wide variety of classes that allows a very wide range of academic talents to be kept busy (more so towards the senior year than the sophomore). It is possible to get by with a degree based off classes that can be taken in junior high, while it is also possible to fill a schedule with classes that would ordinarily be taken in college. Anyone who needs some sort of encouragement to go to school that is not already there would obviously not go to school for the right reasons if it was for the encouragement that they came. If someone does not complete a class, it is due to lack of intelligence or motivation. No one can help intelligence, and only the individual can increase his own motivation. I support abandonment of those who cannot make themselves go by high school.

I hold this standard up to myself as well. I am now failing my first class, AP Chemistry. No special allowances or treatment should be given to me for any reason, not even for not having taken the prerequisite, taking three other AP classes, for participating in an exchange program, or for winding down my Boy Scouting career, all simultaneously, or for having a 4.0 otherwise. If I do not improve my grade, it will be because I lacked the skill or motivation to do what I put myself up to, and should be allowed to fail. That there are people below average is inherent fact based off the definition of average.

Perhaps other students will be able to better recognize blame-diverting reasons for why people drop out. I would like to ask at least, that if my eccentric ideas are not taken up, that whatever it is that is decided will be optional, and not interfere with my education. The School Board is already in debt as it is.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 4 months ago

Sixth after reading all of these letters our Lawrence,Kansas students seem interested in learning and preparing themselves for the future.

Yet USD 497 decided to become involved in a Chamber project know as PLAY thus blowing $20 million on new bleachers, team bathrooms and other expensive gadgets. Again I ask WHY?

These letters indicate a huge interest in learning.They seem thirsty for more variety and more teachers and more creative teaching techniques. Some are NOT paying attention to student needs it appears

$20 million could have provided this area with a nice VO-Tech facility thus expanding on the Lawrence industry that is most successful,sees rebounds during tough economic times and is always in demand. That industry is education. Vocational-Technical institutions broaden ones economic horizons.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 4 months ago

"The majority of Americans (or at least a portion larger than our percent dropout rate) work at jobs that require little or no skill, or specific vocational skills that are not enhanced in an academic setting." ======= Some truth to this, but the era of productive work without a pretty sophisticated skill set is nearly over.

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