Sunday, August 23, 2009

Texas High School Dropouts Cost Us Dear

In a recently issued report coming out of a study group a the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service the economic reality of having a so many high school students dropping out of school is examined.

And the facts are a little chilling.

Because as these former students progress through life they earn less than their high school graduate counterparts.

So they pay less taxes.

And Texas is the big loser.

Not only do they pay less in taxes, they are more likely to enter a life of crime and then become inmates in state prisons, draining the state coffers as they displace air sitting in their cellblocks.

How do you fix this? Apparently the playbook that Republican-led legislature doesn’t hav that page. According to State Senator Florence Shapiro (R – Eternal Testing), there is “no magic bullet.”

Leave it to a Texas state senator to bring up ammo.

Said Shapiro, as paraphrased here, “lawmakers are well aware of the dropout problem and are always looking for programs that work to reduce the number of dropouts, such as expanding career and technology education to make school more relevant.

What? We can’t fix this by coming up with more and more standardized tests with which to torture these kids?

What? Not all high school students are college bound so we need to rethink shop class? Everything old is new again.

The problem is acute, but not as acute as suggested by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison who recently claimed that Texas had the highest dropout rate in the nation. Apparently Hutchison mis-spoke and Texas trails 15 other states in their dropout rate. It actually dropped a point last year from 4.3% to 3.2%.

But that is still far too many and the A&M study correctly reveals why this is bad by going after the bottom line. It’s too expensive to house the under-educated in this state.

All of this is very timely as schools open their doors to accept the flow of eager young minds for another 180 or so days.

And I hate to admit it, but I agree with Shapiro on this. We need to get off our duffs and make school relevant to these kids. Because without relevance these kids become bored and start manipulating all of their electronic devices that society makes available to them.

Because you don’t need any kind of diploma to play the latest and hottest online game on your iPhone.


Anonymous said...

Not being an expert in education like you Hal, can you let me know what we should do to correct this problem?

Robert Pierce said...

Gummint gets less tax $ and the state locks up more people? Hell, them are features, not bugs.