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Graduation rates by state from high school


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#1 MishY

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 02:56 PM

Found this interesting giving the percent by state of how many students in that state make it through high school.
When I was in high school the dropouts numbered a couple of dozen. Some states it's over 30%...... 30 out of a hundred students don't get the head start in life they need.
Hover your mouse pointer over the state to get the percentage.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30251275

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#2 Animal

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 06:20 PM

Wonder how the relationship to vastly increased class size and rapidly diminishing one on one time with teachers factors in to the graduation rate.

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#3 txtchr

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 08:30 PM

Interesting link. Statistics can be manipulated, and believe me, educational institutions seem to be the experts at doing just that.

Animal, you are absolutely correct. Being a teacher now for nearly 30 years, I have seen the direct correlation to student success and class size. It's only going to get worse. As school districts look to save money, their first means to cut their budget is to cut the payroll: reduce the number of teachers and increase class size. In Texas, only the lower primary grades are state-mandated capped at 20 or so students per class. After that it's however many desks you can squeeze in the room. And when you look at the school's "report card" which shows teacher to student ratio, remember that schools are averaging in regular classes with special education classes (which may have 1 teacher to 2 or 3 students). So of course the numbers look great.

But I know for a fact that if I have 30 computers cramped into a lab that I'm trying to teach a varying range of students entry-level (or for that matter, advanced) software to is a virtual nightmare. I can't devote nearly the time that I'd like to those kids that they deserve. My husband teaches high school economics. He's had classes as high as 35, some on the AP level. It's just not fair. Multiply the number of kids per class by 6 classes per day and you see that we're overloaded now. It wasn't always like this (we used to only teach 5 classes per day). We feel bad for the kids, we complain to the administration, but we're honestly just whistling in the wind, as the suits in the district aren't listening.

#4 Animal

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 09:35 PM

I want to personally thank you txtchr for giving us the truth from the 'front lines'. As well as doing some of the most honorable work for the most thankless of administrators. You and your colleagues across this land truly do mold the minds of the future of America. Thank You!!!! :thumbsup:

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.
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A learning experience is one of those things that say, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that." Douglas Adams (1952-2001)


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#5 ddeerrff

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 10:03 PM

Not teacher bashing, I know it's a tough job and there are some very good teachers out there. But I don't think this class size business is all it's cracked up to be. When I went to school, normal class size was 30 - and it was almost always somewhere between 28 and 32. Didn't seem to be a problem then, and if it's a problem now then perhaps class size per se is not the real root cause of whatever problem 'large class size' seems to be creating.
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#6 MishY

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:10 AM

Your to be applauded txtchr for the difficult job your doing.
Your comment that statistics can be manipulated got me thinking that could it be possible that school districts are under reporting the dropout rate in order to get more state education monies?
The state I live in gives each school district funds based on how many pupils they have in attendance.
Can these high drop out rates be attributed to parents taken their kids out of the public school system and opting for private or home schooling?

#7 txtchr

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 06:47 AM

Without getting into specifics of what it's really like to run a classroom, I'll tell you that over the years things have really changed. The students I teach now are so different than the ones I taught, say, 15 years ago. Their abilities are different, many of them have been coddled by their parents and the system itself, and unfortunately we as educators have done this to ourselves. For instance, it's not okay to fail. We cannot give a child a grade lower than a 50 now. Even if a kid doesn't come to class and doesn't turn in one scrap of work, the lowest grade that they will earn will be a 50. Hmm. I'd like to earn half of my pay for never even showing up. That's in essence what we're teaching them.

Once you get above 25 kids in a room, you physically have a hard time getting to every kid in a 47 minute period to make sure that they understand the concepts you're teaching. You just can't hit on every one of them for an adequate amount of time, in my opinion. Sometimes I feel I need roller skates.

Drop out rates and tracking statistics are a closely monitored fact in every district. We must keep track of where every child goes. So, if a student leaves our school and does not request an official transcript and subsequently that child cannot be located (through multiple means), that child is considered a dropout. That increases our dropout rates, which lowers our rating. It's a catch 22 situation, since wherever that kid went may only require an "unofficial transcript" to enroll.

And to answer the question whether students who leave to go to private school or a home school situation are considered dropouts -- no they are not. They are transfers that then go into another schooling situation. As long as we can document that they have enrolled in another educational environment (whatever that may be), then they are not a dropout. We here in Texas, though, have many transients. One problem in some of our neighboring districts has to do with the come-ons offered by some apartment complexes. They'll offer one month of free rent if you sign a six month lease. So you'll get a family that moves in, enrolls their kids in the local district, takes advantage of the free rent, never pays rent for a few months, has the apartment complex invoke eviction on the family, the kids withdraw, and off they go. They move to another district. Now those students are part of the dropout rate of the previous district. Schools literally spend a tremendous amount of money employing people to track down these students who disappear, all so our rating can be in the "acceptable" or "recognized" range.

Edited by txtchr, 23 April 2009 - 07:55 AM.


#8 jgweed

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:19 AM

While education has deteriorated over the past few decades because pupils are allowed to determine what they are to be taught and demand the classroom be entertaining (relevant to THEIR lives) and educators are unable to justify the need for traditional subject matter, a second part of the equation is that parents seem to emphasize the need for education much less than formerly because they treat children as "young ADULTS" capable of making sound decisions about school attendance and importance.
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#9 txtchr

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:23 AM

jgweed, I couldn't agree with you more. The value of the true education and the information that is being taught in schools (in every subject) is so readily dismissed by students and their parents. Obviously I'm in a high school so I see it multiplied to the point where it's obscene: the parents and the students are more concerned about the grade they received than the content they are learning. They would much rather be in a class with a teacher that freely records easy grades than one that is a challenge. That "A" is much more important than the depth of material that they may have been exposed to.

And you're not joking about wanting to be entertained. I happen to take particular offense to it. As a career & technology teacher, I have always been of the opinion that computers and the peripheral equipment that goes with them (scanners, digital cameras, etc.) are tools to enhance learning. However, technology has become a driving force in many classrooms: social studies, math, science. They have replaced traditional learning. Students no longer know how to use a library, a dictionary, do math in their head (I'm talking easy math, like calculating 10% of a number), they don't know basic geography. Wikipedia does it all for them. They can't write legibly or use proper grammar. It's a shame. I view it as the deterioration of a generation. More and more money is being federally and state mandated to be spent on technology. Tests are now required to be written and administered online at all levels. Our district is implementing a "one-to-one initiative" where every student is issued a laptop computer. Meanwhile our students read books less and less. SAT verbal scores continue to drop. But part of the reason for this one-to-one initiative is to eliminate the need for textbooks and move all of our textbooks to online editions. I don't agree with that at all. I've seen what kids do when you put them in front of a computer screen. Half the time in my class I'm playing policeman to keep them off of unblocked gaming sites. These students have attention spans of 4 year olds. All they want to do is play.




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