Saturday, January 19, 2008

Letter to the Editor

According to PATTI HOPSON the Public Schools are encouraging low preforming students to drop out. Could this be how they maintain their high ranking?

School seems to be encouraging dropouts

I have a daughter who is a great person but not a great student. She has always taken a sluggish attitude toward school. She has never been in trouble. My concern is that all of her friends have dropped out of school.

I received a call from the school in November of her junior year informing me that she would not be able to graduate with her class and possibly not even the following year. Unknown to this person, I had attended a conference at the school the previous week. The caller's information was incorrect, due to grades not yet entered by the teachers. Yet, I was told that there was nothing the school or my daughter could do. I essentially was given the message that she shouldn't waste their time.

Why would a school call at the beginning of a student's junior year to say that further effort is useless? What kind of message is this? Where is the optimism? Should we not at least recommend working with a counselor to seek a solution?

At that time we made a list of about 50 students who had dropped out in just three years. I mentioned this and it was quickly denied. Yet, of the large group of friends who started grade school with my daughter, only two will be graduating this year.

I'm proud that my daughter will indeed graduate with her class. But, how many other parents have received this message? No wonder they decide that it's too late; just quit and get your GED.

How are the schools covering up all of the dropouts? The caller never offered a solution, just said that there was nothing they could do. What can we do to uncover the problems we are having with our public school system?

Ocean Springs


  1. I have had people I know told by teachers to "just go ahead and drop out", but never have I heard of them calling to formally tell them to quit. Teachers today do not want to really do their job!
    If they do not encourage them to quit, they encourage them to be placed on prescription drugs for hyperactivity to sedate them.

  2. A lot of it has to do with NCLB and other legislature.

    Low preforming students threaten to bring a schools 'grade' down; therefore the schools want them out.

    We need to admit that all students are not 'A' students, but that they have the same rights to an education as everyone else. As long as they are doing their best they shouldn't be made to feel like failures and forced to drop out.

  3. I guess we should have been expecting this. My son, who has an ASD, had great difficulty the first year of the state mandated NCLB tests. It has little to do with what he knows, but with the testing itself.
    At the IEP meeting, I had recommended that he be placed in a small group for testing, but the teacher (who announced that he did not have AS) refused. When he was tested and did poorly in the large group, she called in a panic, and told me that they were going to try to get the results dismissed.
    Of course, that is not possible. But I could see the fear that the lower test scores for kids with disabilities would bring upon the school.
    They say the tests are to see if the schools are doing their jobs, but it is the kids who are being denied their right to an education.

    This was one of many reasons that we took N. out of school completely. We could see that the "good schools" (read: high-scoring schools) would not want him, even though he actually quite a smart young man.

  4. A lot of kids who are actually very smart, have trouble taking test.

    My eldest son breezes through test. He remembers everything he reads and can always give the 'right' answer. Thus his scores are always high.

    My youngest son is more of a hands on type guy, he likes to figure things out for himself and he is often convinced the book is WRONG. He has wonderful reasoning skills and is great at critical analysis. But those things don't help with test taking.


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