In a speech about education policy today President Barak Obama talked about what he would like to see in educational practice – and mentioned the Met school in Providence specifically! (See the link to the video and the speech below). He says,
That’s why we’ll follow the example of places like the Met Center in Rhode Island that give students that individual attention, while also preparing them through real-world, hands-on training the possibility of succeeding in a career…That’s how we can curb dropout rates and boost graduating rates. I have to point out, in the 21st century, high schools shouldn’t just make sure students graduate — they should make sure students graduate ready for college, ready for a career, and ready for life. And that’s why we’ll foster what are called early college high schools that allow students to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or college credit at the same time. We want to learn from successful charter schools where students can take advanced and college-level courses…So government has a responsibility. Government can help educate students to succeed in college and a career. Government can help provide the resources to engage dropouts and those at risk of dropping out. And when necessary, government has to be critically involved in turning around lowest performing schools.
One of the battles he is proposing to fight is help stem the tide of high school drop outs. He has worked with Colin Powell’s group, America’s promise who has created an initiative called GRADNation.
Some statistics from the America’s Promis Website:
- Every 26 seconds, another student drops out of school in America – more than 1.3 million students per year.
- Today, more than one in three students fails to graduate from high school. As a result, we lose an entire graduating class every three years.
- Among minority students, less than 50 percent of Native American and a little more than half of African American and Hispanic students completing high school on time.
- Young people who drop out are twice as likely as likely as graduates to be unemployed; three times as likely to live in poverty; eight times more likely to wind up in prison; and twice as likely to become the parent of a child who drops out.
- Of those who do graduate, only about one-third have the skills they need to succeed in college and the 21stcentury workforce.
- Watch the video and or read selections from the text. What are Obama’s main points? do you agree or disagree?
- If you are in a Big Picture School, what does it mean to you to have the President to praise your type of school? What do you know about the Big Picture network.
- Write a journal entry about your own journey in school. What keeps you dedicated to finish? Why do you persevere?
- What do the stats about mean to you?
- Do a little QR – based on these stats, how many people drop out each quarter? From each state? (How many from your state)?