On Friday June 1st, we did it. We graduated our son from High School. That's right I'm using the pronoun WE because getting a child through 13 years of school is a family affair. We have successfully graduated two of our three children so far.
Whether your child is Valedictorian, an average student or one that barely gets by graduating from high school is a team win. The amount of intervention changes year to year, class to class and student to student but in no way do they get to graduation on their own. However it seems that graduation is no longer the priority in America that it used to be. Combine that with the way today's economy stands, graduating high school has truly become a smaller stepping stone to one's success than it used to be.
According to America's Promise a student drops out of high school every 26 seconds. Established in 2010 America's Promise created the campaign Grad Nation. The two goals of this campaign is for America to achieve a 90% graduation rate nationwide by 2020, with no high school graduating less than 80% of its students and to regain America's standing as first in the world in college completion. Currently as a nation only 75% of our students will graduate from high school. One third of the students graduating will require some type of remedial courses when they start college. The number of college graduates also continues to decline. According to research done by Georgetown University more than half of the new jobs created in the next few years will require a post-secondary degree. I read an interesting fact in a Washington Post article . On average, high school graduates earn $130,000 more over their lifetimes, compared with peers who drop out of school. Transforming just one student from dropout to graduate would yield more than $200,000 in higher tax revenue and savings for the government over the course of that person’s life
There are initiatives across the country to help curb this crisis in graduation. Using this map created by EducationWeek.org you can see a graduation report for your school district. The report will include information on the number of students, schools, graduation rates and other facts. Florida is one of 29 states that currently allow students to leave school before the age of 18. Once a student reaches the age of 16 they can file with the school board their intent to leave the school system, parental/guardian notification is required. I found it interesting that one of the requirements upon making this decision is for both student and parent/guardian to sign a declaration acknowledging that by leaving school the student's earning potential will likely be reduced. Recently my son had a status on FB that truly upset a few people. He didn't understand how someone could drop out of school being with only a few weeks to go. He was called ignorant and closed minded, which I'll be honest totally floored me. How can we get children, yes until you are 18 you are a child in my book, to understand the decisions they make today affect their future in untold ways. I've heard kids say that school isn't for them, the teachers don't get me, they hate the whole culture and a number of other reasons for leaving. In the state of Florida any resident can go online and take every required course for graduation FOR FREE. That's right Florida has a virtual school which is offered at no charge to its residents. Many home-schoolers use this program.
So once again I am proud to announce that WE graduated our son from high school. Two down and one to go.... thankfully the odds are in our favor