A Message for Educators:
Teachers are the critical link between schools and local communities. Teaching professionals provide K-12 education for students and give hope to parents that their children will use the education they receive to one day be "successful." Being the custodians of that kind of hope is no small responsibility, and teachers are asked to be accountable for that responsibility. Luckily there are many, many very good teachers who align their lessons with grade level State Learning Standards, follow IEP accommodations for their Inclusion or Special Needs students, keep confidential information about students private, and maintain professional speech and actions when dealing with students and parents, every day.
Then why do so many students slip through the cracks and end up dropping out? I invite any of you who read this page to provide an answer to that question.
On June 24th, 2021, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona testified about Priorities for the Department of Education, during a House Education and Labor Committee hearing. Secretary Cardona characterized Education this way: “Education can be the great equalizer – it was for me – if we prioritize, replicate, and invest in what works for all students, not just some.” The name of the document that details the priorities for the Department of Education is the American Rescue Plan Act. The list of initiatives in the document is extensive, but what must be pointed out is not once does the term "drop out" appear. There are a number of proposals for students to attend college and have some or all of the costs of attending college paid for, but students must earn their high school diploma first before going to college, so for those students, that is the priority.
There are statistics concerning students who drop out of school posted on the Home Page of this site. There are also statistics available that will show the drop out rate in this country has declined in recent years, at differing rates, in different places. Rather than argue over the validity of the studies that generated any of those statistics, there is no arguing that teachers see with their own eyes the struggles and challenges their students have. I ask that you support this research and tell your students and teaching colleagues to inform this study, and identify the needs and challenges for students who may teeter on the verge of leaving school, and provide them with reasons to stay. Let’s not forget this forgotten generation, encourage students to share their stories, and using their own words they can speak to other students and teachers involved in K-12 Education today.
Teachers, what do you think needs to be done about the drop out problem? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.