The Times-Herald of Vallejo, Calif., is taking a novel approach to the dropout crisis: It has asked its Facebook fans to suggest solutions to the city's nearly 50-percent dropout rate.
The answers run the gamut, but a few themes emerge:
The cover of the program for the 22nd annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference featured a picture of a scrolled draft of the United States Constitution, set next to an ink pot and quill. Sure, it was a bit of a cliche for a conference held in Philadelphia, but we like what that image evokes: Education as an inalienable right for all Americans.
The inestimable RiShawn Biddle is asking a poignant and provocative question at Dropout Nation this week: Why don't black churches start their own schools?
Here's another way to look at the dropout factory tragedy, courtesy of Michael Moe, of NeXtAdvisors, LLC:
"Imagine that 50 percent of the people who went into a hospital died — it would cause a huge public uproar and the hospital would be closed."
Heck yes, it would.
And in that same spirit, we humbly ask:
• What if some U.S. Postal Service offices lost 50 percent of your mail?
So where did all those dropouts go?
Cynthia Wise, of Seattle's KING 5 news, takes a critical look at a recent report showing a steep decline in the number of "dropout factories" in the United States.
The fight continues.
But a new report from America's Promise Alliance includes lots of good news for those battling against the nation's dropout epidemic.
The U.S. graduation rate has increased slightly, from 72 percent in 2002 to 75 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the number of “dropout factory” high schools — which account for about half of all high school dropouts — fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,746 in 2008.
Not long ago, “Jenny” made the toughest decision of her life: She parted ways with her mother and set out on her own — choosing the instability of homelessness over the instability of a drugged-out parent. It was a terrible choice for a young teenager to have to make. Now she's living with friends and trying desperately to make something of herself.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan is starting a “national teacher campaign” to recruit the best minds in the country to the profession of education.
Harvard's Tony Wagner wants to see a National Education Academy, modeled after America's military academies, to raise the status of the teaching profession.
Looking back on his high school experience today, Joseph Morales isn’t prone to rose-colored memories. At Philadelphia’s “infamous” Olney High School, he said, “I graduated... or actually, I should say, I survived.”