Drop-Outs in America

Published: 2021-09-12 07:35:10
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Category: English

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High School Drop-Outs in America
High school drop-out rate has been an increasing problem in American society. Currently, only about 70% of freshmen entering high school will go on to graduate with their degree. This number has reached its lowest point in years, and if we keep following the path we're on right now, it will only go lower. There are many different factors contributing to the rapid lowering of this number. Insufficient curriculum, harsh conditions, inadequate teachers, and poor preparation are examples of the burdens in our schools today. To improve on the rate of drop-outs, we need to transform the conditions of school, not just physically, but intellectually as well.
There have been many studies done concerning high school drop-outs. These studies have shown that some groups are more susceptible to drop-out than others. Race is one of the main factors in determining the likelihood of whether a student will drop out or not. For example, while 70% of the total population finish high school, "barely half of African American and Hispanic students earn diplomas with their peers" (Dropouts). The other main factor is social status. The students from the higher class of society, or in other words, the students whose families can afford good schools, are seven times more likely to graduate than the students from the lowest class of society. Jean Anyon discusses the differences in these contrasting types of schools. In the upper class schools, she points out that the students have better schools, teachers, and methods of learning than the lower class schools (173-181). The students are set up for success, so they are going to want to stay in school and seek out that success. Because the differences classes affect drop-out rate, deviation can be seen between geographical regions as well. Southern states are generally more working class, so they have a higher drop-out rate than northern states.
The issue that's making most of the students drop out of high school early is the nature of the curriculum they are taught. Students are given information that doesn't make them think, but is simply given to them to memorize. For example, in math, students are just given the rules and formulas needed. They are expected to take these rules, and apply them to problem to get the answer. This will get the students a good grade, but what has it really done for them? In their eyes, the numbers are just useless characters, because they aren't taught how to use this math in real world applications. Consequently, the students feel like this information is useless to them, and they blow it off. A simple solution to this problem is to not only teach the material, but to inform students on how they will use it in their future career. Knowing the applications of the knowledge beforehand will make the process much more enjoyable for students, and they will understand the information, not just memorize it. For some students, however, the curriculum is simply too hard. Some students just don't have the intellectual ability to succeed in high school. They try to understand it and do their best, but they just aren't smart enough to succeed, so they get frustrated and give up. Other students, however, are just poorly prepared, much like Ms. L. in Malcom X's "In the Basement of the Ivory Tower". She was not prepared for her class at all, and it showed in her grade. She got an F on a paper, which frustrated her because she tried her best. Her best try, however, wasn't good enough to get her a good grade because of how unprepared she was when she started (241-243). Although Ms. L was in college, the same concept applies to high school. Students will get very frustrated and discouraged if they go into class poorly prepared, and once they realize that they are behind most of their peers, many will drop out. According to the study done by

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