More than 1 million students drop out of school every year. According to a report issued by America’ s Promise Alliance (founded by Colin Powell and chaired by his wife, Alma), it is, in fact, 1.2 million who drop out annually.
One-point-two million? That’s more than 3,200 students every day! Get this: in the roughly 15 minutes it will take me to write this blog, more than 30 students will decide to leave high school before they have graduated. That works out to 1 every 26 seconds.
That makes me sick to my stomach. This report lists the top 50 largest cities in the U.S….17 of them have graduation rates BELOW 50%. This includes Detroit, Baltimore, Atlanta, Kansas City-Missouri, Miami, and Los Angeles. According to the report, the national average is about 70%, based on the public school system.
It makes me want to sit on my kid’s lap while they are in school. Do you think Delaney and Cooper would like to have me ride the bus with them? Maybe grab a desk right next to them? Do you think they would care if I raised my hand to answer a question? Ok…maybe a slight exaggeration, but doesn’t it make you want to do SOMETHING?
The good news, in my mind, is that some people in power have taken a serious interest in this problem. Colin Powell was actually quoted as saying, “When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem, it’s a catastrophe.” I agree. Powell, wife Alma and Bill and Melinda Gates are involved.
Apparently, America’s Promise Alliance and Education Secretary, Margaret Spellings explained today future plans to fight this ‘catastrophe’. Over the course of the next two years, they will be exploring ways to better prepare teens for their futures. Summits will be held in every state.
Looks like a good start, right? Maybe I won’t have to be the crazy parent sitting in my children’s classroom. 🙂