Monday, April 7, 2008

The Dropout Crisis: Not a Problem After All

So, maybe this whole dropout thing isn't as terrible as we thought. 

Or so says Steve Blow in his Dallas Morning News article, published yesterday. 

"Here's my guess," he writes, "Most kids who drop out manage to become productive citizens anyway." Later in the article, Blow declares, "Look around. Lots and lots of jobs require only a basic academic education. Let's tailor some schools to match those students and those jobs." 

He's right - there are a lot of jobs that require only a basic education. But are those the jobs that provide livable salaries, that come with health care benefits, that include a 401k plan? 

Most likely not. 

The point of education - which Blow misses - is to give our children options for the future. We must prepare them for any career path that they choose. Students should be equally prepared to choose to become auto mechanics as they would be to become pre-med students. There is nothing wrong with having a job that doesn't require a lot of education, but children must be able to opt out of these jobs and not be forced into them. 

I'm pretty sure that Blow has never heard the phrase, "the soft racism of low expectations." Unfortunately, that is just what he is promoting. 

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