Friday, July 14, 2006

"High School & College Dropouts, - "Dropouts: an epidemic" See update - 07/14/06


I often wonder if there is any correlation as to why high school and college students dropout?

Currently for high school studies indicate three out of every 10 students who enter high school this year will not graduate in the typical four years. That sure is a whole lot of children left behind Mr. & Mrs. NCLB Act!

I have not done an exact study with trend facts or figures but my 30 years spent
in a classroom as a student and instructor tells me there is no single reason why students drop out of high school. I have seen different reasons: feeling of not belonging (no guidance from parents or school professionals); school is boring I’m telling you in many cases this is true); no motivation (see the previous two reasons); faulty and non-standard testing procedures; and the lack of constancy of purpose (no aim, no vision and have no way to know how to get there).

I don’t have scientific facts on college dropouts but I can tell you from a time spent(graduation parties and announcements) and money giving perspective that a lot more people graduate from high school than from college.

I believe the reasons I stated above all can be stated for college with the addition of a big one and that is money/dollars. Using Michigan as an example state support for education has declined for at least 20 years.

One solution in the works might be …Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm is currently pushing
through legislation her “New Merit Award” scholarship (,1607,7-192--145798--,00.html) that will provide $4000 in scholarship money to every student who wants to earn a college degree or technical certification.

The long-term goal is to have more Michigan residents graduate with new skills and to
be able to find jobs in the state.

She has also called for stricter educational requirements for graduation. See

The governor’s new project may help with some financing but what about BOREDOM?

I would like to concentrate on this subject because I believe this academic disease crosses all grades of education.

I wonder if BOREDOM sets in because we have not changed our educational approaches to teaching in decades. Our schools were designed years ago to meet the needs of an agricultural and industrial environment. Perhaps if we can establish a standard for learning and a design plan that builds a foundation that meets today’s and tomorrow’s needs we will have a chance to put “Joy of Learning” back in to our schools and reduce the academic cancer known as BOREDOM.

Just last night during a college class I heard over 10 people complaining, “his is the worst and most boring class I have ever taken (at least since last semester).” “All he does is put up the authors on-line PowerPoint presentation and then gives us the authors True & False questions as a quiz to see if we listened and done our reading.” “There is no class discussion, it’s his way or the highway (no it is not Sparky Anderson).” “If this was not a required class and I need it to graduate I would drop this in a second.”

Why do we allow this type of behavior to continue at all levels of our educational system? Those educators that still believe the measure of educational success is to see how many students I can fail or hold hostage (absolute power) in a class need to retire and go back to the farm.

New teachers and instructors entering the educational system are like business people who go to company training to learn new methods and skills and find out when they go back to their job the environment and their bosses will block any effort of change.

I know money can’t buy everything, but I am hopeful in the near future that Bill Gates and his wife Melinda and their foundation can ignite some new thinking and change in our educational system. Foundation is a grand word, because education needs a new one that creates standardized evaluations for
learning and creates the consistency that the system needs to really know who is learning and what schools are providing good education.

Updated 6/23/06

More on Drop-Outs...

A new study shows that only one in four students in Detroit graduate on time. Out of the 50 largest school districts in the United States this puts them dead last. Why?


"What's good for the teachers is good for students."

Who is serving whom?

Unfortunately I don't think Ms. Garrison is the only teacher alone in this thinking.

Updated 7/3/06

Merit Award cancelled for students going out-of-state starting in 2007

On Friday June 30, 2006 Governor Granholm signed a bill starting in 2007 to eliminate the state funded Michigan Merit Award of $1000.00 for students going to college outside of Michigan.

I guess $1000.00 does not seem like much but it is estimated to save the state $3.5 million dollars and it will affect aprox. 3500 students.

qualityg says ...
again our legislators and governor fail to see the big picture (systems thinking). What about the student who wants to go into a program at a four year university and none of the state of Michigan colleges will accept him/her?

Example, I know of a student that wanted to go into a special economics program that was offered at a small number of select colleges. She applied at NYU, Maryland, Illinois and two seperate programs at the University of Michigan.

She was accepted at all the schools except Michigan where her parents and she pay taxes and where she has lived her whole life.

The kicker was she went and met the dean/advisor for the two programs at U of M and he discouraged her from applying, NOT because of academics but the fact the two programs cater to International Students. You know the kind that have to pay OUT-OF-STATE Tuition ($$$).

The worst part she is now taking out loans to pay OUT-OF-STATE Tuition ($$$).

What a scam these colleges continue to do to American Children and their parents. The schools will not admit to my statements, only to the fact they need more money, but they don't deny students for this reason.

My point is this about the cancellation of the Merit Award. If it can be proved that a state of Michigan college denied entrance to a state student, that student should still be entitiled to the $1000.00. In fact, I believe the student should receive the full award of $4000.00 and charge the state school who refused the student!

People wonder why we can't produce quality leaders and educators. Our Governor wonders why students are leaving our great state after graduation (fact - I have 2 nieces and 1 nephew that all graduated from Michigan State University in the last 3 years, they could not find jobs in Michigan and now they all live in Chicago, making money and having fun).
Do I need to say more?

Follow-Up - I sent this post to the Office of Scholarships and Grants <>.

Here is the reply:

"Thank you for your email. The Michigan Merit Award can not go out-of-state for the graduating class of 2007. Please feel free to contact our office if you should have any further questions."

AAGH, I don't think you read the post, if you did you did not understand it! I will NOT feel free to contact your office any further. --- qualityg

Other posts by qualityg on related educational topics:

Do you know whom
teaching your college student?

Danger Will Robinson

Quality Education

Update 7/14/06

Here is another excellent article on Dropouts by Tom Watkins who is a business and educational consultant. He served at Superintendent of Schools for the state of Michigan from 2001-2005. He can be reached at - This is a man that knows!

Dropouts: an epidemic

go to


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