Return to the Hot Topics Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Posted by tobr24u z6 RI (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 22, 12 at 6:29

The prez has recommended that all states make it 18 as many teachers check their health care benefits to see if they are covered for stress leave. RI is looking at this to improve the skills of the work force. Methinks that forcing a kid to stay in school just helps to destroy the learning environment. It is not required that you agree with me but I can't see why you wouldn't...


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

And if they do drop out, do we incarcerate them?

I believe we need more vocational schools with emphasis on trades that pay fair wages and job security. But, instead of spending more money on vocational training schools, we spend billions on sports programs like track and field, football, band, etc. Most communities cater to the child going to college, not the child who wishes to perform manual tasks for a living.

I recently contracted a 19 year old to install ceiling grids and tile in the office building. He has been working part time with his uncle since his youth. He's good, he's fast, and he deserves a job. His ambition exceeds the demand. The sad part is there's not much of a future these days for a ceiling mechanic. And if any of you have ever installed 3,000 sf of drop ceiling, you know it's not a simple job.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Brush-- I couldn't agree more. There are some who are book smart, and others who shine in other areas. I agree that many of the kids who drop out will end up in jail. But many won't. I've got a new helper working for me now that's like that. This kid's 19, and he and his girlfriend have been "together" since they were 14, and the kid's a hard worker. He knows he's got an uphill battle, and wants things to work. I have no doubt that this kid will probably turn into my next apprentice.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Why drop out at 18? That's when most kids graduate anyway. 16 seems to be the most popular time to bail out on school, though why, I couldn't say... perhaps it's because that's the soonest one can with written permission from a parent or guardian?

How many dropouts actually go on to receive GEDs?

I would expect there to be variables involved, such as socioeconomic, logistics, family history, etc...


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

How many dropouts actually go on to receive GEDs?

Quite a few since having a GED is a minimum requirement for most jobs.



 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Words have meanings you know. As long as leaving school without going on to university is seen as 'dropping out' and those who do it are 'drop out's' there will always be a stigma attached. A long time ago A S Neil expressed concern at how much enthusiasm a five year old has for learning and what ten years of schooling does to it. Extending without improving will create even more bored teenagers, if you can imagine that.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Our high school has an abysmal graduation rate of 53%, calculated by the number of incoming freshmen and graduating seniors. Put another way, the average annual 'drop out' rate is 12%, which is three times the national average.

Because its so high, the school district has had numerous grants and studies to determine why, and try to improve the results.

There are all kinds of reasons kids drop out - any single one is relatively easy to overcome, but when the reasons start piling up, it gets to be too much and they quit.

Probably the biggest single reason is that same cycle of poverty, where the parents never finished school. Combine that with a kid working two/three part time jobs where the benefits of having a diploma aren't all that evident. Then there are behavioral issues, drug problems, pregnancy, having to get up at 6:00 am to ride a bus to and fro - you miss it, you walk 10 miles.

I agree, they need to incorporate more vocational courses in with the academic - around here that doesn't happen anymore, the kids have to drop out and then pay to attend a community college/votec center that offers this stuff.

And from my own kids experience, if there is some kid who doesn't want to stay in school, his classmates are certainly better off if he doesn't.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Brush, I also wholeheartedly agree. There's a real need for skilled workers. Not everyone should go to university. That's an elitist attitude, IMO. And, a large part of those "jobs" that one is prepared for in college can be done in India. (Don't get me started on what I think a university education should be - "education" is the word, not job training.) But, the trades jobs can't be off-shored. Seems like a no-brainer, to me.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

But if they "drop out" (I agree, strong words!) what will they do? They can't rent or buy a home. They can't enter into any legal agreements. So what are they to do? Rock and hard place is what I see. University isn't for everyone, but basic survival must be addressed for these kids, yes still children.

Of course, I'm the one who wants to raise the driving age to 18 instead of 16. If they can't enter legal agreements due to "lack of correct judgment" (isn't that the sentiment?), why can they drive thousands of pounds of metal with the ability to kill.

What sorts of resources would be available? Could they supply them in the school and keep them from heading out into the big bad world?


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

I heard a Father on the radio a couple of weeks ago. He never went to college and started an HVAC company (eventually). One of his sons went to college and then on to law school. He does well but is saddled with insurmountable debt. The other son went into business with him, the HVAC company, and makes about the same as the Lawyer son without the debt.

College is certainly not for everyone. But it will be for my kids.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

College is not for everyone, I agree. When I call a plumber, sometimes he can't come for a few days, he's that backed up. That said, my kids both went to college because they had no markable skills, and my husband and I went so it was a given. My GD will graduate next month from a university, and my 14 year old 8th grade grandson is taking all AP courses because his mother said the colleges start looking at records back to junior high. They also insist on volunteerism which is a good thing.The seniors in his school are 95% college bound.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

  • Posted by sweeby Gulf Coast TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 22, 12 at 16:00

While I'm all for education, I can't see the benefit of forcing a kid who wants to drop out at 16 to hang around in school until he's 18. It's not like he's learning much, right? More likely, he's a behavior problem, failing most classes, would rather be anywhere else...

I completely agree with those who posted about the need for more vocational options and for more respect for people doing those jobs.

The other change that needs to be made is to provide meaningful remedial education opportunities for kids who need them. The national No Child Left Behind options make that virtually impossible, as the law requires that all kids be tested on grade-level material every year. So even if they're behind a year or more, the schools still force-feed them 'grade-level' content that's beyond their understanding. What slow-learning kid wouldn't be frustrated with that?


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

I consider "dropping out" to mean not finishing high school and receiving that diploma... that's a dropout.

If you're going to include not going on to college and finishing that, too... then I'm a dropout. I never went to college. But I did graduate high school.

Not everyone wants to, or even CAN, attend a 4, 5, or 6 year university program moving them into a specific profession or field.

Our middle child went right from high school, where he had already completed several college courses, on to college, and was finished as a full fledged Dr. of Pharmacy... much like being an MD... in a 6 year accelerated program. He also took a second major to help increase funding. The fact we fall into such a low income bracket helped our son immensely to get the extra grants and funding he required.

But today, you can imagine, I'm sure, how proud we are of him... he set his goals, and he achieved them. In fact, he's got the job he wanted, where he wanted, at the pay he wanted, recently married his longtime sweetheart, and they just bought their first home. She's also in a medical field.

And by the way, the first thing they did was pay down student loans, the higher interest ones first, so they're all set.

Our other two children did not attend college, but both have good jobs and great families, and are incredibly happy. As parents, we feel we did a pretty darn good job.

So, I think it all depends on what you want out of life... everyone wants something different. We don't all want the same end result.

And we hear over and over about how everyone has the very same opportunities, but I think in many ways, that's a false statement. Not only are different educational districts different, but so are students, and so are parents. Not everyone has the very same capacity to learn, so some students will simply never make it in certain fields.

The whole thing is an equation that could be written out and figured in a million different ways. Variables are many. And not everyone's goal is to be rich.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

One of the smartest people I know is a contractor we hire when we want work done around the house. He is so skilled and particular with his craftsmanship. He works hard and if you want him , you need to book him maybe a year before, he's that much in demand. All word of mouth which is how we found him. He did work for my daughter. He graduated HS the year my daughter did but she didn't know him because he went to Vo-tech. I remember DD and her crowd kinda dissing Vo tech. (little snobs , they were) but some of those kids make a very good living. Another kid in DD's class who went to Vo Tech now lives in a mansion, owns, about three garages and has state contracts. So he's laughing all the way to the bank with no student loans.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

  • Posted by sweeby Gulf Coast TX (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 22, 12 at 17:42

My last boss didn't go to college either -- Spent his late teens and early 20's devouring everything tech on his own; and just a few years later all of the masters-degreed professionals reporting to him (most of them far older than he) had nothing but respect for this brilliant and highly capable young man.

However that company was very progressive; and the folks who ran it were very good about spotting talent and promoting capable people with little regard for paper credentials. I'm not sure how his lack of paper credentials impacted his career later in life...


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

There is nothing elitist about going to college vs vocational training-just different paths and neither have anything to do with innate brains on the whole...you certainly do not need to be that smart to get a college degree in most fields...some college degrees require some very specific skills sets but you can certainly say the same about some so called blue collar skills-save us from inept plumbers and electrician to name a couple. I would champion the idea of more serious voc-tech in high schools rather than the classes that just house the kids who do not want to put the time into getting a classical education. HVAC technicians have to use computers these days. I dont know what you do with the people who are really only capable of ditch digging in a world where you have to know how to use a backhoe-something to work on in our educational world.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Maybe if a curriculum choice was offered that was more realistic? College-bound take the appropriate classes and vocational bound do the same. Some of the courses deemed mandatory are useless in the real world.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

And vocational bound need math and science to comprehend the technical requirments of many of today's trades. Try talking to an electrician who works in commercial buildings for insight.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Absolutely agree with you, jmc. And college bound probably could benefit from studies in the humanities.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Maybe if a curriculum choice was offered that was more realistic? College-bound take the appropriate classes and vocational bound do the same. Some of the courses deemed mandatory are useless in the real world.

Back when I was in school in the 60's that was exactly how it was done. You had college prep and general education. General didn't mean you got to opt out of math and science just that you didn't have to focus on it for 4 years.

These days everyone is "expected" to go to or want to go to college. It's also a system where education is based on social age rather than academics. Everyone has to be on the same page at the same time. Everyone has to get a ribbon. Tracking is no longer allowed most places because Johnnie's self esteem is more important than if he is actually able to keep up or learn.

Some 16 year olds are ready to train for jobs or go on to college. Some 18 year olds are not ready to ride public transit by themselves.

Those that achieve should be allowed to move at their pace and not be held back in dumbed down classrooms. Those that need more time or help should not be stimatized for it. This has to start early. By high school it is too late.

At one time college meant something. now it is just a continuation of high school for many. Remedial classes in college have to go. If someone needs remedial classes at state university level then they don't belong there. They belong in community college.

I remember hearing some talking head somewhere once say that we incarcerate our youth for 12 years. We call this "prison system" school. It is not about education but keeping them off the streets until that magical age of 18 when they magically become adults.I fear there is a lot of truth in that.

Just reading online communities I see some folks who I presume went to college with less general knowledge of civics than I had to have to graduate the 8th grade. When my son was in high school I asked his History teacher why he skipped over the Vietnam war. He said it wasn't part of the curriculum because it was still too sensitive for the Asian American students. Not his idea, the districts.

I was in an academically gifted math program in middle school. It was tough, it was challenging and most of us in the class would have gotten our first poor grade had the teacher not graded on a curve. When I got to high school it all became clear and I finally appreciated it. By the time my kids were in school being gifted meant a lot of "enrichment" through field trips. God forbid you be academically challenged. We won't even go into the selection process of "gifted". LOL Total joke.


 o
RE: Drop out age?

Great post, wildchild~~very insightful, I think.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

In my HS days, we had the choice of academic or commercial. The academics were college bound. I think courses should be geared to non college bound kids. Vo tech is still a great idea ,and I think apprenticeships should be part of the curriculum.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Apprenticeships to do what, lily? To learn how to run the robotics that do the work? Here's an excerpt from US Steel's website about one of it's apprenticeship programs:

"The Fairfield Steel Works Electro-Mechanical Maintenance CDP provides new hires and incumbent workers with 507 hours of training and awards them a certificate in Electro-Mechanical Maintenance. The CDP training takes place off hours, at the employees' expense ("off-time, own-dime").
It consists of 267 hours of self-paced study at the local CDP offices, which include a multi-media training lab, library, two computer labs (one with 10 machines and a second with15), seven classrooms and a welding area.� The self-paced course of study is followed by four 60-hour sessions of hands-on classroom instruction.

Snip

The E-M CDP curriculum includes technical and shop-related reading and writing; industrial mathematics; electrical theory; AC and DC motor drives; servo-hydraulic systems; Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs); electrical and electronic components; wiring; pneumatics; blueprint reading;
mechanical and electronic troubleshooting; rigging; lockout/tagout procedures; gears and gear systems; belt, shaft, and chain drives; seals and lubricants and precision alignment."

math, science and technology...without it, one will be fixing ceiling panels for the rest of their days.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Public education has jumped thru every hoop and hurdle in the past 50 years to try and figure out how to educate every student according to his or her motivation and ability. The results? For those who want to learn there is plenty in all areas to appease the interests of any who are willing participants, for those who just want out, nothing works...


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

I agree with Wildchild... we've spoken and worked with some young people freshly graduated from college or tech schools, and that diploma might as well be a piece of art on their wall for all the good it did them to receive it... in other words, they have no practical or problem solving skills or working knowledge of the field they just "learned".

My husband recently worked with a young guy who swore he was a mechanic, and had the paper to prove he graduated the school he attended... the guy couldn't even put a set of brakes on a truck. And don't get me started on electricians or other techs... electric and natural gas, and a lot of these other vocations are dangerous if you don't possess the true skills to handle the jobs at hand.

Even working with wood requires a certain understanding of math, angles, load bearing areas, the ability to read blueprints, and a bit of common sense.

I mean, c'mon... I'm no expert, and even I can figure out that when you're adding trim in a bathroom using a nail gun, you want to know where the water pipes and any wiring are behind the walls so you don't puncture something and have to open up the whole wall again to find a leak some idiot just made... especially when they're clearly marked! It's this kind of thing that drives my husband and his nephew nuts. They often work as a team, with my nephew doing the lifting my husband can no longer do, and my husband doing all the finer work the boss would do. They prefer to work together, without helpers who just get in the way and cause more problems than it's worth.

Even in the work I do, there are some things basic problem solving skills and common sense should tell you... which is why I prefer to work alone. Why have to babysit someone else when I can just do it myself, and I know it's done right.

Well, jmc... even robotics have moving parts and circuitry and chips that go bad from time to time... I've worked in plants that have used robotics in assembly lines... and they do mess up from time to time. The trick is finding a tech that really knows how to problem solve... and for some unknown reason, this is lacking greatly today... that, and just plain old fashioned common sense.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

math, science and technology...without it, one will be fixing ceiling panels for the rest of their days.

And without math, you won't install ceiling panels the right way. You'll buy too much, too little, cut it wrong...

I'm sorry, but children have to be made to do things they don't want to do. No easy outs! And if they do stop attending, there is no possibility they can make their own way. They thank you afterwards, but don't let them slide. Maybe they should get rid of NCLB and then they'll want to be in school, or mind it less, so that they're not always prepping for/taking tests, but instead, actually interested in what is going on. Involve them in something other than score sheets. We just hit the end of actual learning. They've already brought out the test sheets. How many months are left in the school year?!!! Just finished the science project. That was a haul (it's a big deal since they're a math/science magnet school). But it was at least interesting!


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 23, 12 at 9:08

Was just having this conversation at work the other day. I am all for vocational training and apprenticeships .. not everyone will go on to college, and those who don't will have the "skills" in place to enter into jobs.

There were boys I went to high school with that got out early, not to go home but to go to their "apprentice" jobs. These were the boys that had vocational classes, no they were not available (then) to girls :)

I am for it.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Several of our cousins' kids dropped out of a school system with a graduation rate in the low to mid 60 percent range.

The city where they attended school has the highest rate of poverty in New York State according to new census data.

The school system is actually quite good as they produce many honors and high honors students, plus local BOCES programs are excellent. The issue is the most of parent(s) or guardian(s) of the poor performing students aren't good mentors. The apples generally don't fall far from the tree...


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

And without math, you won't install ceiling panels the right way. You'll buy too much, too little, cut it wrong...

not to mention the load bearing requirements of the grid structure, the gauge of wire required over the field, vent requirements, etc.

The good man installed over 700 SF of grids and tile today. Plus 12 troffers, perfectly aligned.


 o
RE: Drop out age, 16 or 18?

Any child's successful advancement through school to adulthood and success in life is really dependent upon a group effort... including parenting, teachers, the school district and board, a varied curriculum, etc... it's almost a community effort, one might say.

And if one or more of these pieces are missing, problems develop.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hot Topics Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here