Misguided Dropouts?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by Mr. Windchill, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Mr. Windchill

    Mr. Windchill Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 23, 2007

    High School Dropouts Right Into College?

    I have a student in one of my classes who sits in the back and does nothing. Despite any effort on my part to motivate the individual, he insists he will not work because he is simply counting down the days until his 16th birthday (the age students here can legally drop out of school).

    So I accept his right to have no desire to attend school, and join the rank of high school dropout. Best of luck to you in the future, guy! He THEN STATES, "I just want to dropout, get my GED and then go to college."

    My wife has a homebound student who makes use of the service since she, according to her mom, is "unreliable." The child would not complete her assignments, study, or get to school/class on time so the mother pulled her out ... but got her accepted into the homebound program (which is generally for sick students who need to miss a fair amount of time) so her daughter may keep pace with her friends. The mother later tells my wife that the student needed to be on homebound because she's "unreliable," and the mom hopes to have her daughter finish her GED and then go to college.

    Am I missing something here? Do students and parents have a misguided notion that college is a breeze? Sure anyone can be accepted these days as long as you can get approved for loans and the school gets its money, but am I wrong to think if you can't hack it in high school, college may be a stretch? I assess the students; perhaps they are extremely bright and aren't challenged enough. I know those kids exist, but these are not those kids. These are kids who simply do not like school, school work, due dates, etc. but "just want to get out and get a GED so I can go to college."
     
  2.  
  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Messages:
    29,799
    Likes Received:
    1,167

    Apr 23, 2007

    Well, either they'll rise to the occasion, or they'll crash and burn. And it will be... interesting, I guess, is the word... to see which.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Apr 24, 2007

    I agree. Getting into college is no guarantee of staying in college.
     
  5. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    416
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 24, 2007


    I'd hate to see when these kids get into college. If they don't like any of these things, what makes them think they'll like college? It's even more intense than high school!
     
  6. Yen

    Yen Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 24, 2007

    The only question I keep thinking over and over again is, "Where is this child's parent?"
     
  7. roamer

    roamer Companion

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 24, 2007

    I have to admit, the thought has crossed my mind to have my son do that (see my "how to motivate the unmotivated" thread).

    I have no illusions that he could cut it in college now. I know for a fact he couldn't. However, if he were to get his GED now and work for a few years at the type of minimum-wage paying job that's available for dropouts, I'd hope that he would be bright enough to figure out that going to college is much better than the alternative. Hopefully, he'd be ready to start about the time the rest of his classmates do and he'd have matured enough to cut it then.

    I know I'm just dreaming (he'll never wise up)...but a girl can dream, right?
     
  8. hatima

    hatima Devotee

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,081
    Likes Received:
    2

    Apr 25, 2007

    Mr.Winchill I was a freshman in college when the community college here released that 16 year old drop outs could attend starting in 2001. My friends and I dreaded this. It was a mistake. The teens, much like a friend of mine, thought that once you are in college people can't tell you what to do. Its a "freedom" issue. Also once they let the teen drop outs in the school the drugs and crime on campus increased.

    (before the 16 year old drop outs had to wait until they turned 18 before going to the community college for GED then steamroll the degree. Now they can drop out for any reason, legally and this still hurts the schools)
     
  9. collegenerd

    collegenerd New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 28, 2007

    I think people who go that route do so for very different reasons. A lot of dropouts I've seen who claim they'll take a GED don't actually bother to do it, and the ones with weak enough math/literacy skills to have difficulty with, say, a high school exit exam would be unlikely to pass it. It's a decent route for homeschoolers and strong students though. Also, for most of the people I know it's not so much a matter of "can't" hack it in high school as "won't" hack it in high school.

    On the other hand, I have had college classmates who were just bored out of their skulls in high school who did that and successfully completed bachelor's degrees. These were not ill-behaved kids; they had A/B averages in high school, 1400+ SAT scores, took the CHSPE(similar to a GED but harder), and vanished after 10th or 11th grade without a trace.

    My mother and stepfather both did that because they pretty much hated school, but both had strong high school gpas and SATs. They view college degrees as very valuable and high school diplomas as pretty much worthless. In this viewpoint, the sole purpose of high school is to prepare for college. If the kid is not on a college preparatory track, therefore, high school has no purpose and the next best place to get back onto a college prep track is community college.

    I thought about doing that myself because I was bored (with a strong high school background) but my mom convinced me that there was no reason to because I was taking honors/ap courses. I did have difficulty in my freshman year of college because I had never studied in hs (despite a 4.1 cumulative hs gpa). I don't think I should have dropped out, but I do think I should have taken some community college courses at night/summer in order to better prepare for university. As it was, I went onto academic probation in my first semester, withdrew, went to community college, transferred back, and did quite well.
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Apr 28, 2007

    See if they can take a college class while in high school. Ask them to try it to see if they are ready for it. I did this. Money and time will be a factor of course.
     
  11. lhpartridge

    lhpartridge New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 29, 2007

    I teach in an urban school with a high dropout rate and I live in a suburban school district where there is a strong emphasis on having "successful students". Neither school is successful at motivating students who just don't like school.

    The high school where I teach is focused on achieving adequate yearly progress with a student body who reads on average at a fifth grade level. We have just had our state tests last week after over a nine-week term of intensive subject area remediation. Some of my students have missed more than 10-20 hours of my class. Most of the students were burned out and bored by the time they took the tests. Teachers whose subjects are not covered on the state tests are required to alter their lessons to include the state test topics, often at the expense of the curriculum the subject is intended to cover. There is a high absentee rate, which has prevented us from reaching AYP.

    As I consider myself an advocate for the student more than for the district, I often counsel my students who are unlikely to pass because of attendance, to take the ACT and go to the community college in a vocational or technical class.

    These students who chafe at the school culture of tardy slips, pep rallies, detention and assemblies (ad infinitum...) would do well in a situation where they only had to attend classes, rather than having to stand in line to go to lunch. Their course work would directly relate to their choices and not to the standardized high school curriculum.

    My son is a classic example. He is failing every subject in ninth grade in a highly competitive level five school. He repeated 6th grade, despite having state test scores rating him proficient or advanced in every subject because he failed to do homework, mainly getting papers signed. He qualified for the Duke Talent Identification Project both years he was in the sixth grade, so he took the ACT when he was in seventh grade. He only scored 13, but that score is not uncommon for graduating seniors in the school where I teach. He was obviously getting an education, but achievement was not the criteria for passing to the seventh grade. His teachers promised support if we would put him on ADHD drugs, so we did, but he did not get the support he was promised.

    He spent the second half of seventh grade and all of eighth grade in a school for kids with ADHD. He was graded on his proficiency with the emphasis on achievement more than on a timeline or whether or not he brought in signed papers. Our older child is now in college so this year we put our son back into the public schools with great trepidation, and our fears have been realized.

    He has spent most of this year in detention or ISS. Most of his infractions relate to his ADHD--tardies, not having papers signed, etc, and only two were for disrespect. The sign inside the school says: Failure is not an option. I believe that the failures get pushed out. The district plans for him to attend the alternative school next year.

    My son is not motivated by school. What motivates my son is money. He loves to work. He is great with his hands and with customers (just not school teachers and administrators). We are hoping that he will score high enough on the ACT to get into the welding program at the local community college. He would never make it at the district's vo-tech program. If he can't be admitted, he must attend a private school and pay his own tuition. Otherwise we will have to make him a ward of the court if he will not follow our rules.

    We believe that after several years of growing up and developing self-discipline, making drop-out money, and finding opportunities blocked due to lack of credentials, he will decide to go back to school to earn a degree. If not, it's his life, to live as he sees fit and to suffer the consequences of a lifetime of making bad decisions, just as my students have to live with the consequences of their decisions.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

    You can put a child in class, but you can't make him think.

    Sometimes we just can't figure out how to make them thirsty.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 351 (members: 0, guests: 338, robots: 13)
test