Saturday, April 26, 2008

One in Three or Clueless in America!

One of the topics in which I take an interest is "student retention".

It is a worry to politicians that despite their best efforts to encourage everyone to go to college, students drop out of college.

We worry too much; not everyone needs a college education.
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were both dropouts.

Kottke as ever a source of interesting information points at this wonderfully titled New York Times article about the American college drop out rate.

Here are two quotes to ponder.

"An American kid drops out of high school every 26 seconds.

Roughly a third of all American high school students drop out. Another
third graduate but are not prepared for the next stage of life — either
productive work or some form of post-secondary education."

Somewhere in this discussion we are missing the point,
should all of these students have been there in the first place?

1 comment:

  1. Your reasoning is sound in principle, except you've got to take account of the prevailing culture. America is much more tolerant of people who have dropped out and started again, they actually think more of you for having another go. Similarly, there is much less stigma attached to getting fired from a job in America and they are more willing to hire based on merit and past experience.

    In the UK I think we focus on the negative too much. You drop out, you're branded a 'quitter' and that sticks with you. Employers are preoccupied with paper qualifications when hiring. Just ask my wife - in Manila she worked her way up from clerical assistant to assitant vice president of a computer college without ever having a paper qualification to her name. In the UK she finds it hard to even get job interviews because she gets weeded out of the selection process based on paper qualifications.