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Positive Kids Who Are High School Drop Outs

Positive Kids Who Are High School Drop Outs

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Is There A Positive Side For Kids Who Are High School Drop Outs?


The other side of dropping out of high school.

"There's only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that's if we quit." - unknown
  • Independent Study»»
  • So far, everything I have researched online for High School Drop Outs has produced negative results that are completely against kids dropping out. However, prominent news reports have said that High School does not prepare teenagers for college and that the first year of college for the average freshman is spent learning what High School should have taught.

    Chronicle of Higher Education 2/18/2005
    High-School Students Are Poorly Prepared for College, Survey Finds

    USA Today Online 8/16/2005
    Many incoming freshmen aren't prepared for college

    exit HS

    New York Times August, 2005
    Many Going to College Are Not Ready, Report Says

    Stanford Report, March 12, 2003
    High school seniors beware: A diploma may not be enough to prepare for college because graduation requirements are often lower than the academic standards demanded by higher education institutions.

    Time Online Articles

    Some Children Left Behind Nov. 29, 2006 Time

    Home Sweet School August 2001
    The new home schoolers aren't hermits. They are diverse parents who are getting results and putting the heat on public schools.

    Help! Teacher Can't Teach! June 1980
    On Free to Choose, his popular public television series, Economist Milton Friedman stands before Boston's Hyde Park High School as uniformed guards search entering students for weapons. In a voice-over Friedman says: "Parents know their kids are getting a bad education but ... many of them can see no alternative."

    "Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit" - unknown
    1. Independent Study»»
    2. Online / Virtual High Schools»»

    Here's a couple of oldies

    High Schools Under Fire November 1977

    The Big Federal Move Into Education April 30, 1965
    "With the rapid moving of families in our nation, the interlocking economy, the sense of a national community, it is archaic to think that education is not a national task." Thomas Braden, chairman of California's State Board of Education 1965


    So what happened and when and how? Apparently this isn't a new problem. This is a problem that our government apparently brings attention to only when it benefits them; but not us, not the parents and certainly not the students.

    College instructors estimate that 42% of recent high school graduates are not prepared for college-level classes. Approximately only half of the graduating high school students of 2007 will have the reading skills they need to succeed in they're first year of college, and even fewer will be prepared for college-level science and math. The government often quotes high school dropout rates as an indication of the success or failure of American schools themselves. The speaker of these quotes seems to put little of the responsibility on themselves or their department.

    However, the answer to educating kids is not as clear as one might want to think. There is no one policy or guideline that will ensure that each child entering High School will graduate and become a contributing member of the business economic community. We each must take a small amount of the blame and stop pointing fingers at each other and agree to work together. In addition, we must accept that High School is not the right approach for each and every child. Teenagers must be recognized for their individuality and that may mean parents may need to consider choosing an option that they themselves would never choose.

    Here are two stories from two different High School drop outs.


    1)In response to personal experience of dropping out

    Dropping out of high school (in my case at least) was the best decision I ever made for myself.

    The school I was attending at the time was an upper middle class public school. I did not get along with the staff or student body. I was not goal oriented or motivated whilst attending, and further, the lack of attention from the staff regarding my inability to understand the cognitive reasoning they had for assigning busy work all the time undermined their teaching efforts.

    I left high school when I was told I would no longer be able to attend the school I was enrolled in order to be transferred to what is referred to as a continuation school. At continuation school I was introduced to cigarettes marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine. Instead of falling into that cycle of pain I dropped out and pursued my CHSPE (a GED equivalent). Since then I have worked, and my work is fruitful. This letter was in no way altered - there was no need to as the writer is obviously well spoken and has a good understanding of grammar. The question here should be did he/she learn it in public school or someplace else?


    Never give up!»»


    2) In response to a questions I posted online

    Why did you drop out of high school? Drugs and stupidity

    Did you consider the future before you dropped out i.e. getting a job / Career? lol no

    Have you ever thought about going to college or going to a trade school? Yeah I'm in college right now, I want be a history teacher.

    Did you do any research online about dropping out? No

    Did you have any plans on what you were going to do after you dropped out? Do drugs

    Reports say that kids who drop out most likely go to jail or get involved in criminal activity - have you? No, except doing drugs

    What has been the hardest part about dropping out of high school? A lot of opportunities leaving me

    What has been the best part about dropping out of high school? Nothing

    Regardless of how impossible it is - what would have had to happen for you not to drop out of high school? I really don't know, I think if I had some one around my age telling me to stay in school then maybe I would have stayed. Oh and not doing drugs.

    In the beginning, even with all the negative "why kids drop out of High School" results, I was convinced that there had to be legitimate reasons why teenagers would drop out of high school. After reading a few more accounts, I started digging to try to find indisputable evidence supporting reasons why a teenager would want to quite.

    One of the experiences I found said that a 17 year old had dropped out of school, passed her California High School Proficiency Examination and enrolled in Junior College. She expressed how much she loves her classes, plays two sports and plans to transfer to a State College. This was from a student who claimed she hated every moment and everything about high school.

    Other experiences I read were from teenagers or concerned parent(s) of the child who was bored with school or unchallenged and was having tremendous amount of problems with other kids due to their high IQ or learning abilities. However, it is not only the academically gifted or challenged, who are discouraged by public and even private high schools. It seems that free thinking and artistic students also have the hardest time in high schools.

    As part of my research I read several blogs from both parents and kids regarding the teenager's desire to quit school. Most parents stated they begged, pleaded, threatened and or offered rewards for their kids to go to school and bring home barely passing grades.

    Additionally, I ran across numerous blogs where kids had wrote how badly they wanted to quite school but were threatened with dire consequences by their parent(s). The most common consequence seemed to be if she/he quite they would be thrown out of the house.

    So now we are back to what can teenagers or parents do - what are the options?

    Let me state for the record I have no formal training in providing documented concrete evidence that will miraculously get your child to go to High School & become a straight A student.

    On the same thought I have no formal training in providing documented concrete advice that will miracle make you (as a High School teenager) want to go to High School and become a straight A student.

    Everything I write is based on my own personal research and opinion(s).

    OK...here we go...

    Let your teacher(s) know.
    Expressed to your teachers that you feel school / subject is not giving you any type of challenge.

    Pick your battles.
    Teachers, who are busy with hundreds of students, don't have time for an argumentative students questioning all of their choices in curriculum. Question them respectfully, but don't argue. Ask them before or after class why the assignment was assigned. Offer constructive suggestions if you feel the assignment could be more interesting.

    Try not to make teachers your enemies.
    While the teachers may not give you the attention, instruction or maybe even respect you feel you deserve, they are still valuable resources to you for college and possibly job references.

    Study Independently.
    You should not expect your high school to teach you everything that you'll ever need to know. It wasn't designed to do that and the rise in bankruptcy filings prove that.

    If you have already tried similar actions as above and your still not happy, do your research.

    As a teenager:
    If you want to quit school be prepared to have a constructive argument prepared for your parent(s). Announcing that you're no longer going to go and having nothing to back up what your plans are will only aggravate them / him / her.

    Parents:
    Listen to what your child is saying, ask them questions and communicate with them with an open mind. Research what your child is asking for and what it means. Or agree to help them find an alternative to High School.

    Teenager: Give thought to the why and what you will do after quitting. You may find that while you dislike the high school and your teachers you may actually love (or like) learning. For alternative education get a copy of Grace Llewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook, How to Quit School & Get A Real Education It is full of ideas for education outside of traditiona public High school.

    Grace Llewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook includes suggestions and resources regarding traditional academic areas, as well as chapters about talking to parents, social life, college, and exploring the world.

    Grace Llewellyn's book will scare parents of every age, culture, social standing. Basically if you're a parent with a high school teen, you'll be want to burn the book before ever opening it up to consider her unschooling ideas. However, before acting out such as a teenager would do ;) (I've done it too) open the book and engulf her rationality. Much of what I've said above is explained in much more and better detail with what seems to be from a supportive and experienced point of view.

    As soon as you start reading, you'll realize how absolutely rational the author's ideas are. Llewellyn's arguments are laid out clearly, her alternatives put forth so explicitly, that it's hard to not to agree. The tone of the book is straight forward, with a down to Earth quality that is never condescending or preachy. The book includes

    • Helpful ideas on how to learn independently
    • Detailed chapters on researching each subjects
    • Thorough lists of resources for continuing your high school level education.

    Guide Review - Teenage Liberation Handbook, How to Quit School & Get A Real Education

    Llewellyn sympathizes with teenagers who get a sub-par education, wasting hours of their time on worksheets, classroom management, and other needless time-busters. Instead of such waste, she contends that teens should quit school and take charge of their own learning. Fortunately, this book isn't just about lofty philosophical ideas. Llewellyn backs her claim with hundreds of pages of practical suggestions on how to claim responsibility for your educational life.

    From finding mentors to using the library, this book's chapters contains advice all of us should know, but don't. Some of the gems include:
    - School is Not for Learning
    - The Importance of the Vacation
    - Your Tailor-Made Intellectual Extravaganza
    - Using Cultural Resources


    As Grace Llewellyn's book demonstrates, there are options to traditional public high schools.


    Online high schools are becoming more and more popular. Virtual High Schools have more freedom than traditional schools. Students are able to select their own type of instruction and can avoid many of the bureaucratic regulations that public schools force teenagers and parents to do. Consequently, a growing number of virtual high school (which are fully accredited) offer an online curriculum that give students the chance to work at their own pace. Also read Teenager High School Drop out Prevention - Thoughts & Theories»»

    Virtual high school diplomas are accepted in the same way that public school diplomas are accepted (particularly if the charter school is regionally accredited). In most cases, colleges and employers are unable to tell the difference.

    For back articles on high school drop outs read The High School Drop Out Epidemic - Are there other education choices available for high school students?»»


    The social factor.

    Many online / virtual high school students connect with friends in their neighborhoods, meet other virtual high school students through community organizations, and participate in outings with other online students. In addition, online schools also provide the opportunity to interact with students and teachers through message boards, email addresses, and live chat which may result in more time for teacher/student communication than a traditional high school offers.

    In the end the decision must be mutually agreed upon by both parent and child. Instead of begging, screaming, threatening, crying and months of frustrations (for both the parent and teenager), consider what options are available and which one fits the needs of the teenager best.

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