The following is part one of a three part conversation we had regarding the American School System and Poverty and what correlations they saw between the two. Obviously this is a touchy subject, but we welcome your input.
Adam: I found this information that relates back to that study I mentioned the other week about the graduation rate of African American Males.
· The national graduation rate is 68 percent, with nearly one-third of all public high school students failing to graduate.
· Tremendous racial gaps are found for graduation rates.
§ Students from historically disadvantaged minority groups (American Indian, Hispanic, and Black) have little more than a fifty-fifty chance of finishing high school with a diploma.
§ By comparison, graduation rates for Whites and Asians are 75 and 77 percent nationally.
§ Males graduate from high school at a rate 8 percent lower than female students.
§ Graduation rates for students who attend school in high poverty, racially segregated, and urban school districts lag from 15 to 18 percent behind their peers.
§ A great deal of variation in graduation rates and gaps among student groups is found across regions of the country as well as the states
I am basically shocked that one third of high school students are not graduating. The information came from a study done by the Urban Institute
Jeremy: I don't really know what to think about this. I want to say I'm not really surprised, but it did catch me a little off guard. I can say that I'm not too worried about it. I don't think you can force teenagers to do crap they don't want to do, so if they want to drop out of school, it’s kinda their choice. I think parents should step up and take some responsibility on what their kids are doing in school, instead of passing all the responsibility onto the teachers. Education starts and finishes in the home. So unless we see some better family formation in the future, I think we will continue to see statistics like this. So when I say I'm not worried about kids dropping out, that's because I'm not worried about kids doing want they want to do. That’s going to happen. What I am disappointed in seeing is that families are not getting the focus of the discussion. And let me briefly say what I think "better family formation" is: father and mother actively involved in the lives of their children and teaching them positive morals.
Adam: Do you think this creates a cast system- those who are educated get to be part of the middle class while those who are not get to be the lower class, upon which the middle and upper class will build their own fortunes?
Jeremy: I don't know. If these kids choose to be in the lower class and upper class people make their fortunes off them, then these kids are doing what they want to do. I think that's good when people have the freedom to do what they want to do. Of course I draw the line when your choices hurt other people (murder, stealing, etc). That’s the whole point. If you have the freedom to choose, and you end up in the lower class, that because you choose to be there. Same with upper class people. They choose to work their butts off and make a fortune. Now there are obviously exceptions in both scenarios, but those are the exceptions.