Thursday, August 20, 2009

Decreasing state's high school dropout rate is summit's goal

This from Jim Warren at H-L:

Almost 6,500 students dropped out of Kentucky schools in 2008 — enough to make up a good-size small town — and faced an uncertain employment future without a high school diploma.

Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Wednesday that the state can't afford to keep sending so many young people handicapped by an incomplete education into an increasingly competitive job market.

"Together, as a community, we must find ways to keep all of our students engaged and in school," she said in a statement.

Accordingly, Beshear will host a summit in Frankfort on Sept. 11-12 called Graduate Kentucky: A Community Approach. It's aimed at developing a statewide action plan to raise Kentucky graduation rates and help prepare more young people for success in life.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of The Children's Defense Fund, will be the keynote speaker at the summit. Gov. Steve Beshear will join other state and education leaders at the meeting, which will include discussion of best practices and ideas for raising graduation rates.

The Frankfort session will be followed by a series of regional summits, beginning this fall and continuing into next spring. The goal is to have a plan ready by summer to
attack Kentucky's dropout problem....


Anonymous said...

I'd love to see more Kentucky teenagers graduate...But how best to make them stay in school? I'm a veteran educator. How do we get the job done?

Anonymous said...

Students need to be engaged in what they like to do in their learning processes. Many will use the internet to look up what we used to look up in the encyclopedias ,if they are interested. To create readers they have to read what they are interested in. If it is on the internet, or in a the magazine, the newspaper, or in a book, then that is great.
Younger students like to read about characters and people they see on tv. If students like doing it, then they will do it. Reading and understanding is the key to all subjects. They need time in the lower grades to get that foundation in reading. Ignite that light and get all to read. Just do not let them fail like failures, and then the light goes out. Everyone learns from their mistakes, not what we always get correct. Let students know that.
I always tell my first graders that some of us bloom early and others will. It just takes lots of practice or we can't win the game. Students love competitions, and they all need to win sometimes. We may lose some days but not every day. That is the way life goes. After all there is always tomorrow.
We need to be a nation of readers.

Anonymous said...

The above comments are timely and interesting. Good teachers can engage students regardless of the reading or subject matter. We certainly must not bow to popular opinion, though, and let students learn and read only what they wish.

I do believe we could increase the graduate rate in Kentucky if we offered more vocational training. Those of us in education know that the the curriculum is often geared towards the college bound. Students need to learn how to read, write properly, and do math, but for those who are not college bound, high schools should offer more vocational programs as they do in European countries. 1/2 day academics; 1/2 day vocational trading for those who do not like school. An idea whose time has come!