Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


[Susan notes: I grew up with Dad's story of what a high school diploma meant to him, and I'm proud that Stephen Krashen uses it to good effect to counter the current political bashing of public schools.]

Published in Daily Breeze
05/20/2011

To the editor

Sent to the Daily Breeze (California), May 20



Thomas Elias warns us that the dropout rate is higher than we think it is, and that we need to know the true dropout rate so that schools can take appropriate action ( State dropout reports whitewash local schools May 19).



But the figures presented to the public overestimate dropout rates because they are based on four-year completion of high school. This means that students with the perseverance to graduate in more than four years, or who get GEDs, are counted as dropouts. These late completers, most of whom have to work at least part-time, should be praised for their determination and self-discipline.



During the Great Depression, the father of education expert education expert Susan Ohanian alternated working a year and going to high school a year, because his family needed the money. He was not a failure. He was a hero.



Making school more flexible to accommodate work schedules would certainly reduce the dropout rate. Improving the economy would make dropping out to work less necessary and would reduce the dropout rate even more.





Stephen Krashen


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.