SEARCH BLOG: EDUCATION
Econbrowser had a post the other day about high school dropout rates in California. A new way of measuring has pegged the dropout rate at 24% statewide and 33% for Los Angeles.
The author, Professor James Hamilton,Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego, wrote that he was "shocked" by the report. He should not have been. Prof. Hamilton showed the following chart regarding the impact of dropping out of school:
Dennis Mangan, a curmudgeonly blogger from California, has identified at least one major reason for the increase. Last year he wrote:
It isn't difficult to stay out of poverty in America. Here's how Steven Malanga put it:I'd argue that anywhere you have a concentration of poorly educated parents, you will have a concentration of poorly educated children... and high dropout rates. In Detroit, this was noted:To stay out of poverty in America, it's necessary to do three simple things, social scientists have found: finish high school, don't have kids until you marry, and wait until you are at least 20 to marry. Do those three things, and the odds against your becoming impoverished are less than one in ten. Nearly 80 percent of everyone who fails to do those three things winds up poor.Let's see: Hispanics drop out of school at high rates, they have high rates of illegitimacy, and they marry young. No wonder we're importing poverty.
In 2005 the state and city placed the Detroit Schools’ graduation rate at about 44-48%, depending on the source. Some of the discrepancy is accounted for by looking at “timely graduation rates” versus those who graduate in more than the four-year time period. Either way you look at it, no one in Detroit Schools is happy with it.I discussed Detroit high school education with a Detroit high school teacher this weekend. He spoke of one effort by a high school principle to increase graduation rates by pleading with teachers to change failing grades to Ds. This way students who rarely showed up for class could "graduate" and the school's performance would be improved.
That's a great signal to our failing students.It all boils down to expectations. I'd say that some of our school systems have little expectations of their students and students understand that little is expected of them... and they deliver.