What’s the Problem with Dropping Out?

America’s Promise Alliance, an education-for-the-children foundation set up in the 1990s by Colin and Alma Powell, held its 2012 summit, “Building a GradNation,” in my DC hotel this week. The featured guests included a range of CEOs, school apparatchiks, politicians, the Powells, George Lucas, and plenty of specimens of a type that has mercifully become extinct almost everywhere except Washington, DC: pear-shaped men under 30 who still rock the blue-blazer/ecru slacks/buttondown shirt look. 

There have been panels on “transforming” public schools, using early education to “put our children on the path to success” and other topics, as well as a screening of Lee Hirsch’s ubiquitous new documentary Bully. (You need to spend some time around a school these days to understand how out of hand the hysteria over bullying – which administrators are more interested in talking about than in solving when it actually comes up – has become.) 

I’ve been stalking the conference hoping to party with George Lucas, and while that didn’t work out, I’m struck by how out of sympathy I am with the APA’s seemingly unobjectionable goals. As Alma Powell writes in her letter to attendees: 

Together we have accomplished so much. High school graduation rates continue to improve nationally and across many states and school districts 

But we have much more work to do to meet our Grad Nation goals. We know we cannot have economically thriving communities when large numbers of our children are still not thriving in school. 

And the summit is where we start: reporting (and celebrating) our progress, sharing what works, creating vital connections, gaining new tools and knowledge, and recommitting ourselves to the job ahead. 

My question: Why is raising the graduation rate so important? APA notes that dropout rates are falling and graduation rates are up in the majority of states. This is nice to know, but school doesn’t agree with everybody. And even in this high-skill, high-tech universe where busboys are supposed to be working in the knowledge industry, there’s still only a tiny fragment of work-related craft that you actually learn in high school. 

This morning, CNBC siren Maria Bartiromo led a panel on “the economic impact of the dropout crisis,” which really confirmed the circularity of the argument: We need an educated workforce because otherwise our workforce won’t be educated. 

Stuart Thorn, president and CEO of Carrollton, Georgia-based Southwire, a manufacturer of electrical wire and cable, made the point that his company only hires high school graduates. His doing-good-by-doing-well argument was that the company needed to influence the national movement of graduation rates in part so that workers can “make 50 percent more over the course of their careers.” This very loose statistic is an average, and it doesn’t really tell you anything about what a high school diploma will do for any particular person. 

And of course, the reason possessors of high school diplomas make more on average is that so many companies won’t hire non-graduates. Thorn has every right to demand an education minimum for his employees – though I’m not sure figuring out how high a ball will bounce on its fifth bounce if on the first bounce it reaches a height of 125 inches and on each subsequent bounce it reaches a height 2/5 of the previous bounce is a skill you really need to make copper wire. But this is an attempt to nationalize a private goal.

The rest of the panelists continued the theme. DeVry Inc. president Daniel Hamburger pinned the crisis on the fact that “our government is so budget-challenged,” while Miami-Dade public school superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho fumed that the morning’s talk had featured “more discussion of this problem than in all the presidential debates.” 

Even if I had confidence in Rick Santorum’s ability to solve the dropout crisis, I still wouldn’t be sure it was a crisis. Or rather, it’s a self-created crisis. We need to get graduation rates up because we have put so much false value on graduation as a goal unto itself, without asking whether any particular person actually needs a diploma to live a complete life, how unmotivated students slow down more motivated students, or why we’re so eager to keep kids in a system that is universally described as “failing” and “broken.” The fastest way to solve the dropout problem is to remove the stigma of dropping out. 

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  • ||

    The fastest way to solve the dropout problem is to remove the stigma of dropping out.

    Yes, the fastest way to solve a problem would be to deny that there is a problem.

  • Brendan||

    No, the fastest way to solve an invented problem is to admit that it was invented and stop calling it a problem.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • KPres||

    Then what would the bureaucrats do?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Study something useful and get a real job.

  • ||

    Or shrivel up and die. Either way win/win.

  • Vake||

    +5

  • ||

    This is no laughing matter, approximately half of our kids are below the 50th percentile in test scores!

  • Tim ||

    I showed that to my wife the other day.

    Then, sadly, I had to explain it...

  • ||

    Looks like I got some suckers down thread

  • ||

    [golf clap]

  • wareagle||

    no, it's not funny. Dropping out means you could not stick out the simplest of childhood tasks. Seriously, K-12 is not a Mensa test.

  • Realist||

    Dropping out is not a problem as long as you don't mind being ignorant and being a loser. On the other hand a high per cent of college graduates are losers.

  • ||

    On the other hand a high per cent of college graduates are losers.

    And ignorant.

  • ||

    If it's no Mensa test, then why it it so damn important that someone waste 13 years of their life accomplishing? Especially when some of those years could be used to learn a skill that will actually benefit them in their life.

  • wareagle||

    that's a question that addresses a different problem, albeit a good question with the key word being 'waste'. Didn't used to be a waste back in the days of knee-high snow both ways and twice on Saturday. Lots of folks with 8th grade eds that were literate, could do math, and could do those jobs that the uber-educated class thought were icky.

    Per usual, the larger problem - the sorry state of the public system - is ignored over numbers, though I still think graduating is better than not graduating. Given how many graduates require remedial work in college, just imagine how clueless the non-graduates are.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Dropping out might also mean you don't care for the assholes who run schools and teach. I dropped out of HS, later I got an advanced degree.

  • ||

    Yep, quit high school in 10th grade, though I also didn't go much of 7th or 8th. Went to college for three years, with enough credits for a degree, but one class short. Doing quite well these days.

  • ||

    Me too- dropped out of HS one week into my senior year. Ain't rich, but I own a co-op apartment in a prime Manhattan neighborhood. Solid bourgeoisie.

  • ||

    I know, what can we do to get all our kids above the 50th percentile?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Start comparing their scores to Zimbabwean students.

  • ||

    I have a dream of one day seeing everyone in the world score higher than the 50th percentile.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You can see that dream come true. All you have to do is lie.

    Kurt Vonnegut wrote a story idea about an alien race that infiltrated a statistical bureau and then raised the published averages for nearly every human performance stat. The idea was to discourage people so that there would be only token resistance to invasion.

  • ||

    I didn't know Vonnegut wrote non-fiction.

  • Vake||

    There's a "grade inflation" joke in there somewhere...

  • Nando||

    Change it so that if you don't get 85% you don't pass.

  • ||

    Yes, everyone below the 85th percentile should not be able to graduate. This plan is foolproof.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RedDragon6009,

    Yes, the fastest way to solve a problem would be to deny that there is a problem.


    "You deny the existence of purple dragons? Heathen!"

    So what is the problem again, Red?

  • ||

    Lemme help you resolve this:

    Educated =\= productive.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    According to MNG, the only value of a human is to a potential employer. He thinks employers will see "red flags" in someone who's a high school dropout. (I wonder how many actual employment decisions MNG has made and seen through.)

  • wareagle||

    I've seen a few...damn right being a high school dropout is a red flag. Waving stiff in the breeze. This is not the 50's when kids went to work on the family farm or went into an apprentice program and learned a trade. The ones dropping out are barely literate, even less so than the ones who do graduate.

  • Grey Ghost||

    I'd ask you for a citation for that claim, but honestly, I've seen you post and you're not smart enough to provide one.

    Now you'll probably do what MNG did and throw a tantrum and blame the person asking.

  • wareagle||

    A citation for what? For having been involved in employment decisions? I'm smart enough to keep up with you, not that it requires extensive effort. Or a tantrum.

    If you need a citation, Google something that relates to high school grads taking remedial coursework in college.

  • ||

    Ironically the reason the educational system kinda blows even though we're spending 5xs as much is precisely because they don't want anyone to drop out.

    You can throw in all the computers and teacher performance bonuses you want, if the system is positively dying to give you a diploma no matter how unmotivated or flat out stupid you are, that diploma will be worthless.

    You can have competitive teams, where you get cut if you can't hack it, and you can have inclusive teams where everyone gets to play. Trying to mix the two is a fools errand.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Why is a high school diploma so important? Because if, when you are 18 and full of life, you can stand being ordered around by a bunch of juiceless, useless, impotent old fools, you can handle anything life can throw at you. If you can't handle high school, you may have a career as a pirate, but otherwise not much is going to work for you.

  • Joe||

    I grew up in a rural community, where about 10-20% of the guys in my class went back to work the family farm or neighboring farms. There's no reason they had to be in high school, and I'm sure many wouldn't have gone if they didn't have to go. Maybe dealing with teachers was a test of whether they could deal with authority, but I'm not convinced it was worth it in the long run.

  • Pip||

    Think abou to whom you are responding. I mean, the guy is into anal so rough, that half of the time he can't spell his own name right.

  • Almanian||

    Sounds like we grew up in the same community.

    But where would the Future Farmers of America be without participating in FFA at school???!!

    Oh, on their farms learning firsthand, like my dad and his brothers.

  • ||

    Having dealt with farmers in my days as a commercial loans officer, I think Mencken was extremely generous in his assessment.

    Lying, cheating, pig-ignorant, not willing to learn anything their great-grandfather didn't tell them(God forbid they should learn something new!), always wanting another loan and fighting like hell if you wanted them to pay it back.

    It probably is a waste of time to try to educate them at all, but they'll raise hell if you try to cut any subsidy they think is coming to them.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'm guessing boatloads of illegal immigrants working in restaurants have not graduated high school, while I'm willing to wager over 90% of the Occupy Whatever unemployed had.

    From first hand-experience, I can assure you that most people not graduating high school are probably not having much difficulty with the course work; it's their real lives outside of school that interfere with the pretend life of high school.

    So let's continue to pretend that school can cure all problems of young people in our society. By doing so we can ensure that the schools will continue to do even worse at their main job which is educating those youths without such problems.

  • KPres||

    Give them 12 years learning how to delay gratification and they'll live happier, richer lives than if they absorbed volumes of academic bullshit.

  • Zeb||

    I know quite a few people who couldn't handle high school for one reason or another who are doing quite well now. For a lot of people, particularly with unpleasant family situations, the teenage years are just not a good time to get one's shit together and work hard at school. And a return to school after some years in the workplace is probably kind of pointless for many people.
    But I suppose the world needs mindless swogs too.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I worked in the past with multiple individuals, working through contractors (some hire perm later) with GEDs and no college, but working as programmers, network admins, etc, as they developed a provable and sought skill set.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Just in case.... these aren't small or unknown companies, but unnamed for obvious reasons.

  • ||

    I'm disappointed. No pirate recruiters ever came around to my high school. Maybe I should have inquired when I was in Somalia, but it didn't seem like a promising field at that time.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    My question: Why is raising the graduation rate so important?

    More to the point, how many of these graduates are leaving school with at least eighth-grade reading and math skills (yeah, I know that theoretically it should be 12th grade level skills, but let's be realistic)? How many students are taking remedial classes in college (and taking out debt to do so) just to get to levels that would have been considered unacceptable for admission as recently as 30 years ago?

    For all the talk from the progressive left that investment in education is necessary, how many of them shit a brick and scream "DAS RACIS CHECK YO PRIVLIG" whenever someone points out that students during most of the 20th century were far more literate and well-rounded in their education than they are today, despite 30-40 years of hippie social engineering designed to level the playing field?

  • ^^^THIS^^^||

    Ad infinitum

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tim Cavannaugh,

    My question: Why is raising the graduation rate so important?


    "But we have much more work to do to meet our Grad Nation goals."

    It's all about the Plan, Tim. Nothing else matters. It was always about the Plan.

  • Almanian||

    Well, I guess we know who doesn't care about teh childrunz...

  • Zeb||

    Shit maybe people are so dumb that they need to be forced to go to school. The literacy level of many students just amazes me. I remember taking a reading test in 6th grade and I had a "post-high school" reading level according to the test. I know I had much better reading comprehension at the end of high school. I have a hard time imagining how any adult person could read at a lower level than I did in 6th grade. And that was over 20 years ago, I can only imagine how much more dumbed down the standards are now.

  • Rob||

    How many students are taking remedial classes in college (and taking out debt to do so) just to get to levels that would have been considered unacceptable for admission as recently as 30 years ago?

    I enrolled at a local community college where the school was proud to have 50% of their students taking developmental courses.

    I finally quit after they cancelled my program with just one semester needed for my AAS degree.

  • ||

    sounds like my community college.
    Any mention of my studying trigonometry or calculus warrants an immediate "WHOA UR SMART LOL"
    The price is right, anyways. I will have spent about 1600 just to finish my BS core classes.

  • BakedPenguin||

    CLEP exams are a boon for soft subjects.

  • ||

    I did those exams for free in the military. 12 credits for math and english out of the way in 2.5 hours...that is, until my adviser told me they didn't accept CLEP.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    That's a better question. who cares if graduation rates were 100%, if half were unable to read their diplomas.

    Without some notion of qualify, rising graduation rates could be highlighting a problem, instead of being the prize advertised.

  • Ryan||

    Well, I went to public school and I can tell you that graduating from there meant I had developed skills and knowledge appropriate for a 10 year old.

  • wef||

    Is there a Dropout Gap?

    Is the Chinese dropout rate higher that that of the US? Do the Russians dropout less than Americans? The French don't drop out at near the same rates as foolish, obese Americans, who should drink more red wine and eat more aged cheese.

    Is it really so bad dropping out if at the end of the whole 12-grade cycle you go don't get any more food stamps and your welfare check is the same amount?

  • ||

    I'm still absolutely convinced that one of my greatest decisions in life was dropping out of college.

  • Almanian||

    Interesting - I always say that my best decision was dropping out of college. My second-best decision was going back and finishing later, when I was ready!

    I sure learned a lot of hard lessons in the intervening years. Hard lessons, but necessary.

  • Zeb||

    I think that the key things are:

    -Not everyone needs to go to college.
    -You probably shouldn't pursue higher education until you know why you are doing so.

  • ||

    "You probably shouldn't pursue higher education until you know why you are doing so."

    Exactly. I was in college because it was the next "step." But I really had no plans for a career post college and was planning on majoring in a social science (History or PoliSci). I had very little motivation and it appeared rather quickly in my grades.

    After I dropped out I spent some time doing miscellaneous office work and came in contact with dozens of people who were doing the same thing I was but they had degrees. At that point I realized how much further ahead I was because I didn't have any debt whatsoever to worry about.

    At that point I resolved not to go back until I had a fundamental plan for a career that required a degree.

  • Rob||

    Can't beat an education at the School of Hard Knocks.

    I did pretty good for a college drop out. Work in a Fortune 50 corporate legal department; landed the job based on good old hard work.

  • Almanian||

    landed the job based on good old hard work

    Ah - so, bangin' the boss' daughter.

    But I keeeeeed! Good for you :)

  • ||

    That's why I got fired.

  • ||

    Probably should have banged her off the clock.

  • ||

    I know dropping out of the UT english program was the best thing I did for my future earnings. Learned programming vocationally and eventually went back for an engineering degree, but that english degree would have been worth dick all.

  • John||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxch-yi14BE

    Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up?

  • ||

    Our society has certain "filters". For example, many employers use a bachelor's degree as a filter. Doesn't matter the discipline, as long as you have one, your resume will at least be considered. A high school diploma does the same thing for prospective Walmart employees.

    High School is not very hard. If you can't do the bare minimum to graduate, why should an employer even bother, when there are so many applicants who have graduated?

  • pmains||

    But, but, then some people aren't employable. If we give them a piece of paper, then they will be. Therefore, they are entitled to a piece of paper. We have a paper crisis.

    Basically, it's the same logic as Keynesianism..

  • Suki||

    You need to add paper burners to make it complete Keynesian.

  • Rob||

    +1

  • Suki||

    What was that recent chatter about *outlawing* the college diploma unless a "real" aspect of the job required it?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    SCOTUS did rule years ago that an IQ test cannot be required for jobs such as janitorial work. You can ensure they can read and understand labels or whatever...

    Though as others noted, a degree now is used by the employer to gauge an applicants train-ability....

  • ||

    Yeah. Probably don't want Drano in the hand soap dispensers.

  • adam||

    That case (Griggs v. Duke Power) actually concerned a requirement for both an IQ test and a high school diploma. SCOTUS said an employer can't require either unless they are shown to be job related if the effect is to discriminate based on race.

  • Zeb||

    I think that this is true to some extent, but only for people who aren't very creative or motivated. Sure anyone should be able to finish high school. But if you have other things you can do, why should you waste your time on it? I don't think that most people should drop out, but there is a significant minority who would probably do better out of school (at least at that point in their lives). And I think that fact should be acknowledged more. Instead, these people want to pretend that everyone is the same or has the same potential.

  • ||

    Removing the stigma is the fast way -- but we need more. It's called personal accountability.

    In late 80s,I was elected to a school board by a large margin. When I was attacked for being a libertarian, "Yes, I do believe the replacement of today's public education is inevitable. But not for quite a while yet, and not while your and my kids are still in school. What can we do NOW for our kids?"

    In Ohio law,a kid could finish his k-12 education at any time through the age of 23. But we had the same stupid QED program as anyone else. We'd do our cause a lot better if we said, "Let them drop out, if they're not ready. But let them drop back in if they change their mind within (say) five years."

    Some kids really are not ready. At a time when college degrees are used in hiring, even if not needed - we look kinda silly sounding as though a high school diploma is unimportant.

  • Pip||

    America’s Promise Alliance, an education-for-the-children foundation set up in the 1990s by Colin and Alma Powell, held its 2012 summit, “Building a GradNation,” in my DC hotel this week.

    Wow, Tim! I had no idea you owned the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC. I guess playing the ponies has earned you some serious coin. Good to see you didn't blow you winnings on frivolities.

  • Suki||

    He owns a hotel chain with a worldwide no smoking policy? What a cosmotarian!

  • rvman||

    Bouncing balls may not relate to making copper wire, but a similar calculation might be needed to determine the most efficient route to run wire to five outlets, a light, and a ceiling fan, or how much wire he will need to add a grounding line to an outlet in the attic.

  • Suki||

    Even if they learned that in HS, it does not matter until they prove it again on a CRC exam.

  • Suki||

    One of the reasons the graduation rate is climbing is the standards are dropping or non-existent. Now some employers are requiring these ACT created achievement tests to prove the prospect knows at least some of what a graduate knew a few years ago.

  • Almanian||

    If the math don't kill 'em, the arc flash will

  • KPres||

    That's what the engineers do, not the guy spinning the wire.

  • skr||

    No, that's what electricians do.

  • JEP||

    There's a disconnect here.

    Just because you can solve the bouncing ball problem, doesn't mean you'll be able to solve the problems associated with making copper wire.

    If you have a crappy math teacher, then you can probably regurgitate whatever they said in lecture on the exam, and pass the class. If you have a good math teacher, then the exam will challenge you to see if you're just able to regurgitate, or if you understood the fundamental concepts and can apply them to a new problem you haven't seen before.

    It's not in the wire company's interest to hire people who can solve bouncing ball problems. It is in their interest to hire people who can think critically.

    Unfortunately, the pursuit of lowering drop rates leads to lowering standards, which means that fewer people will be challenged and fewer people will learn anything useful.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This. You don't spend years in engineering school learning everything about your chosen profession. You're learning how to learn continuously and approach problems. Worthwhile engineering schools put a lot of emphasis on solving novel problems that don't fit the standard textbook examples.

  • In Time of War||

    Oh please, the public schools are going to teach kids how to think critically? The teachers can't think critically.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Good point. You wouldn't want to take an industry which cannot teach history correctly and ask them to do anything as grand as teaching critical thinking.

    Though I think going back to a classical education would be better than what we have today.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tim Cavannaugh,

    Thorn has every right to demand an education minimum for his employees – though I’m not sure figuring out how high a ball will bounce on its fifth bounce if on the first bounce it reaches a height of 125 inches and on each subsequent bounce it reaches a height 2/5 of the previous bounce is a skill you really need to make copper wire.


    If a person is capable of understanding and solving such problems, then it lowers the cost of training for the company. In other words, compulsory American Pulbic Educashion is just another iteration of the State's policy of public costs and private profits.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    I understand that Wayne Root's daughter didn't even go to High School and she is an A student at Harvard or something...

  • Cliché Bandit||

    P.S. I leave for two months and expect you slackers to remove white moron and rectl...so disappointing.

  • Zeb||

    Well, you'd better get to it, then.

  • ||

    it briefly disappeared this morning. that's how long it took to get a new ISP i guess.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    They clean up after WI, but not nearly fast enough. At least so I hear; I don't go back to those threads when I leave them.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    And the summit is where we start: reporting (and celebrating) our progress, sharing what works, creating vital connections, gaining new tools and knowledge, and recommitting ourselves to the job ahead.

    So the purpose of this get together is to eat, drink, fuck, and network?

    Where can I get in on this sweet racket?

  • Thom||

    High School is and always has been a tremendous waste of time and energy for even moderately intelligent people. The best decision I ever made was dropping out of high school, getting my GED, and enrolling in community college while all my classmates were still doing whatever it is you do in high school. I've met more than one person who did the same thing. The notion that everybody who drops out is being held back because of it is ridiculous, plenty of dropouts do so in order to get on with their lives.

  • ||

    I ended up dropping out of CC too. It was nothing but Grade13, and was completely unnecessary to the IT work that was paying for me to attend.

  • Thom||

    Exactly. It's absurd that we lie to kids and tell them that they have to keep doing stupid shit or they will fail at life. If there's something better you could be doing, fucking do it.

  • A Serious Man||

    I'm posting here while pausing from writing a paper on the ongoing revolution in Syria. I have no idea what I will do once I get my two degrees in poli sci and history, but I do know that dropping out would just be plain stupid since I have no idea what I would do with myself. I suspect a lot of college students like me feel that way. We go to college because, well, that's what you do.

  • hk||

    That's fine just don't do it on the backs of the taxpayers. Although I don't blame you for taking student aid right now, because someone else would simply take your place if you declined it.

    It is absolutely pointless, hard work is enough.

  • skr||

    You're an idiot.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Poli-sci and history?

    Hope you like working for the gubmint, cause that's about all those degrees are good for.

  • ||

    Bullshit, RRR. The fucker that poured my latte this morning had a history degree with a minor in poli-sci.

  • sticks||

    or he could write for magazines like Reason...

  • ||

    Actually not true. History majors are quite in demand in the business world because the skills of a Business Analyst are very similar to the skills of a historian.

  • FlyoverCountry||

    Yup, I'm a proud history major/philosophy minor working as a mortgage and ag lender at a bank.

    People asked what I was going to do with a degree in History and my standard answer was "graduate".

    All you need is that piece of paper.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    What’s the Problem with Dropping Out?

    You have to tune in and turn on first?

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    how high a ball will bounce on its fifth bounce if on the first bounce it reaches a height of 125 inches and on each subsequent bounce it reaches a height 2/5 of the previous bounce

    3.2 inches.

    Do I get the job?

  • JEP||

    It's funny because in the interest of "equality" companies can only ask behavioral questions in interviews. Asking technical questions or doing things like giving an IQ test are considered discriminatory.

  • Zeb||

    Of course it's discriminatory. You want to discriminate against incompetent people when hiring.
    But I suppose that the logical extension of affirmative action is protecting the stupid from discrimination as well. Most people can't help it if they were born stupid, after all.

  • Suki||

    Math is racial discrimination?

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Not in companies dealing in tech. Almost all of them require IQ tests for almost every position, many companies only interview those who score above average.

    The technical questions will of course depend upon the job.

    The reason for behavorial interviews is different. The purpose here is to steer interviewers away from ego driven 'gut decisions' and non-relevant questions such as, what are your three biggest strengths.

    Instead you ask things like, name me a time when due to technical reasons, a client project was delayed. What did you do?

    Assuming of course that would be position relevant.

    As for equality, you ask all applicants the same questions, because if you ask them all different questions, you have no real ability to compare.

    It then becomes an exercise in ego, whereby the interviewer just 'knows'.

  • F Hart||

    Do I get the job?

    Only if you used a slide rule to solve it.

  • JEP||

    Paul Graham has a great essay on the origin of the diploma/academic accreditation system.

    He makes the argument that degrees were created to stop nepotism. If a man was a lawyer, he could no longer pass on the family business to his son. His son had to go to a university, study, and receive a law degree before he could take on the family business.

    It's a social filtering system that seems to be outgrowing it's usefulness.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    He also points out how it's a social filtering system to identify people from your own race or class without being overtly racist: people from Harvard, for example, are more likely to be of the same race as you if you're a Harvard grad, and are more likely to be of the same social strata as you are.

  • ||

    You need to spend some time around a school these days to understand how out of hand the hysteria over bullying

    It's so bad that some pantywaists in to NH Legislature tried to pass an anti-bullying bill that targeted other legislators.

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    THIS IS CHINA PLAN TO MAKE US DUMB.

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    ASIANS CAN ACTUALLY READ MINDS!!!!!!!!
    they can hear, and see what your visually thinking

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    the reason alot of asians have completely expressionless faces, only associate with asians and dont associate with non asians very much is to avoid accidentally revealing that they can read read minds, if all over a billion asians were to show facial expressions all the time just as much as non asians,

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    associate with non asians much more, and be much more friendly and talkative, then alot of them might accidentally reveal that they can read minds by accidentally showing a facial expression or dirty look when someone thinks, or visually pictures something in their mind they dont like or find astonishing or funny, and if they were all to associate with non asians alot more there would be alot more people around for them to accidentally show facial expressions when those other people think things they dont like, so they only associate with asians so there wont be anyone around for them to see that and have any accidents happen in the first place

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    think about it, its not normal how alot of them act, and the entire way they act is all to hide their mind reading abilities, it makes perfect sense to do all of that to hide that they can read minds, because all of that is the perfect way to do it!
    every single asian on the planet is hiding their mind reading abilities, they value hiding their mind reading abilities more then their own lives!
    thats why nobody knows about it!

  • THIS IS CHINA PLAN||

    try thinking, best yet visually picturing in your mind something something absolutely crazy as you possibly can when you are around asians, and try looking for asians who give people particular looks, especially dirty looks for what appears to be for completely no reason, that is them giving people looks when they hear and visually see someone thinking something they dont like, find funny or astonishing
    it still happens despite them having completely expressionless faces all the time, its not uncommon!

    i know this sounds crazy, impossible, and completely unbelievable, BUT IT ISNT CRAZY WHEN ITS TRUE

  • E Plutibus Unimmm||

    CHEMTRAILS!!11!!!!

  • Almanian||

    Me ruv u rong time, ChyMan Pran

  • Tim Leary||

    Turn on, tune in, and drop out.

  • Valerie life guard||

    valerie to the rescue!!! :P

    Freshly arrived from the sea (wherein she swam and dwelt as an amphibious woman replete with webbed hands and mermaid attributes), VALERIE stands proud and free on terra firma, fully nude in the fresh, open air.

    Probably time to give Valarie a break now, unless of course she was to re-grow her bush

    Valerie is really a dream woman!

    did I miss something? when did valerie ever have a bush? anyway...me likey!!!

    ... and had to create a statue of the perfect divine proportions, I'd have Valerie as my model.

  • F Hart||

    Did Bartiromo have work done? She disappeared from CNBC for like 4 weeks, and came back looking pretty good. If she didn't have work done, I want the name of her travel agent.

  • ||

    My question: Why is raising the graduation rate so important?

    Because lower graduation rate=lower funding.

    And lower funding=less job security for the vast majority of teachers that can't teach worth a fuck.

  • MNG||

    In a sane world we might consider more funding for schools with the higher success rates, why throw money at schools that continue to do poorly?

    At the least we should fund the approach of those schools.

  • ||

    If all the funding were based on performance, I would agree.* But the people that argue against that scheme are the same ones who benefit from the status quo...and they are a powerful interest group with deep pockets.

    *SLD applies.

  • F Hart||

    Hippie dippy, artsy fartsy, is the way to go.

    No, really.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awOAmTaZ4XI

  • ||

    You need to spend some time around a school these days to understand how out of hand the hysteria over bullying

    Or tune into CartoonNetwork before AdultSwim starts.

  • ||

    Adolescence has been stretched out to the late teens. There are work restrictions on young teens. What would teens do without school? I don't mean that in a plaintive kind of way, I mean honestly, other than get into trouble, get high, get pregnant, etc. how are suburban kids supposed to occupy themselves?

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Learning on their own, sending ACTs, SAT subject tests, and AP tests to colleges to show they learned something, going outside and exercising so they don't become obese.

  • ||

    I mean honestly, other than get into trouble, get high, get pregnant, etc. how are suburban kids supposed to occupy themselves?

    They could work on a lobbying effort to end work restrictions on teen workers.

  • ||

    Late teens?! Late teen is the new toddler. Adolescence left the teens in the dust long ago. Heck, you can now be on Mommy and Daddy's insurance until age 26...because you can't be expected to be ready to care for yourself before then, can you? Oh please won't someone think of the children!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I believe Sandra Fluke (who is 30) has been described as a "student" and a "kid", which shows just how drawn out adolescence is these days.

    My grandpa worked full time when he was 12 on canal boats. He had more sense in his head than the MBA types I've had the pleasure of working with. Probably could rebuild the engine in his '36 Ford faster than these guys could jump start a dead battery.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I would think the fact that the vast majority of kids aren't in trouble, with drugs or pregnancy, demonstrates by itself the plethora of options available to those who choose them.

  • ||

    This is because the vast majority of kids are in school and then some sort of supervised after school program/activity until their parents get home from work. The comment was implying that "school" functions at a minimum as a universal babysitting service monitoring your kids and keeping them out of trouble. Since there is pretty much nothing a 12 - 14 year old can do from 9 - 5 without school it stands to reason that they would find something to fill that time on their own and for a lot of them that would mean gangs, drugs, and sex.

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • Valerie life guard||

    herp derp herp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derpherp derp

  • ||

    Photo or link, please.

  • MNG||

    This is a strange post.

    Sure, there are people out there who can do fine without completing high school. And there is nothing magic about graduation per se, it's just an easy indicator of adequately completing x years of education.

    But the general trend is clear; those who don't complete high school tend to do worse in life and, among other things, are more likely to be involved in a host of 'social pathologies' (live in poverty, commit crimes, etc.) which then are used as rallying points for more governmental spending.

    I'd rather pay a dollar to see more people learn some basic skills that would increase their chances to take care of themselves and any dependents they have than five to imprison or take care of them later.

    Now whether we should do that in some big government, one size fits all "national initiative" is another question altogether.

  • ||

    I'd rather pay a dollar to see more people learn some basic skills that would increase their chances to take care of themselves and any dependents they have than five to imprison or take care of them later.

    I'd agree, MiNGe,if that's what they were being taught. Unfortunately, all high school is nowadays is a prep for college, which almost everybody says is also essential to being successful.

    Point is: there are so many jobs that could be performed adequately sans a college or even high school education. And we are preventing people from doing those jobs because we are requiring an arbitrary level of education to qualify, when that level of education has both nothing to do with the skills required to perform the job and is used as a barrier to entry by the people in that job to limit competition.

  • ||

    Also, to truly eliminate the need for high school educations, we need to eliminate the idiotic work rules that keep teens out of the workforce.

  • MNG||

    There's a lot of bad high schools wasting kids time, sure. But even with a bad high school dropping out is usually an indicator that the kid for whatever reason couldn't go for four years without being kicked out or being bored and just quitting, neither of which are going to be attractive traits to employers...

    And not all time at all high schools is wasted. I still think that in general a high school grad is going to be better equipped to take care of themselves than a drop out, and I simply can't buy that is all due to "stigma."

  • Depends||

    neither of which are going to be attractive traits to employers...

    Interestingly, not everyone lives the soul crushing existence of living their lives to please their employers like you do.

  • MNG||

    Boy, you're new here, huh?

  • Depends||

    Nope.

    Just thought your point was dumb, cause it is.

  • MNG||

    I think you're dumb if you can't understand what I was getting at. Being attractive to employers doesn't = living your life to please your employer.

    Even a high school drop out can figure that out.

  • Depends||

    "I think you're dumb "

    Of course you do, I hurt your feelings by pointing out that your point was dumb.

  • MNG||

    You missed my point dude, and I pointed that out.

    But nice try.

  • Depends||

    "You missed my point dude"

    Nah, I got that your feelings were hurt because you made a dumb point and I called you on it.

    Stop crying guy.

  • ||

    Stop crying guy.

    Don't call me guy, friend!

  • MNG||

    This is my "night stalker" sloop, he goes away after a while.

  • ||

    He is called "depends," so he very well may be full of shit.

  • lol||

    Guys its obviously rather's new form, DON'T RESOND TO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • MNG||

    Yeah, that was my guess. Demented...

  • Tim||

    Agreed, depending on the job, if I needed a shop apprentice, and some kid who dropped out applied, I'd need to know the reason he dropped out.

    If "I want to work, and I wasn't good at school" is the answer, I at least won't hold it against him.

    I do know that "going for 4 years" to prove something to employers is silly, largely because I expect my employees to use their time wisely and if the kid decided school wasn't wise, then dinging him for it doesn't make a lot of sense.

  • ||

    Pretty sure MiNGe was talking about prospective employers. And while I agree with him, I disagree with the "why." IMO, it's predominately because they're expected to hire high school grads. But since that wasn't always the case, it is a weak argument for employers.

    Anecdote: my grandfather went to the 3rd Grade, and NCR hired him in the 60's. By the end of his career, he was a mid-level manager and QA specialist for microchip assembly...a job that his replacement needed a college degree to qualify for.

  • ||

    .a job that his replacement needed a college degree to qualify for.

    ...in the mid 80's.

  • Tim||

    I guess my point is that I'm able to take in the totality of circumstances, and I don't think I'm alone.

  • ||

    Oh, I agree with you, for the most part, Tim. And my example was just an anecdote, and should hardly be viewed as a standard.

    That said, I think we as a society place too much stock in milestones and pieces of paper, wen life experience and ability are often not quantified properly, especially with how bad our education system has become after NCLB and myriad other government interventions.

  • Tim||

    I'll tell you this sloopy, I went to college and it was just a big waste of 40k.

    My job, which I love, is so far away from my schooling...

  • MNG||

    Of course a wise employer would not refuse to hire someone for dropping out if other factors outweighed this. But "other things being equal" dropping out of high school is a big red flag to most employers for a reason.

    The fact that many people do fine dropping out just to me means that whatever is decided to be done about drop out rates should take these people into account and not coerce them.

  • Tim||

    But "other things being equal" dropping out of high school is a big red flag to most employers for a reason.

    Some. I'll let you have "some" employers, while pointing out that very lo wage jobs have little to gain from hiring employees who will move on to better prospects just as soon as they learn their positions in your company.

    There are far more low end jobs that are quite happy with employees who have nowhere else to go.

  • Tim||

    addendum

    "There are far more low end jobs that are quite happy with employees who have nowhere else to go than you might think"

    sorry wife walked in and flustered me

    (she's hot, I'm lucky)

  • MNG||

    Sorry, I'm going to stick with most, not some. In fact I'm betting the reverse of what you say is true: while there are some employers who wouldn't red flag a drop out, most will.

    Do you seriously want to argue otherwise?

  • Tim||

    Sorry, I'm going to stick with most, not some

    Then we'll disagree.

  • MNG||

    Hell, even the author of this post takes this as true, he just tries to right it off as due to "stigma."

  • ||

    But it is due to stigma and little else. Dropping out of high school essentially becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, basically no one will give you the chance to prove yourself, not because of any real quality of your own but because of their own lazyness and bias. Lazyness in simplifying the hiring process by ruling out large swathes of the populace who in the aggregate will be less productive that the rest even though this says absolutely nothing about the qualities of the individuals within that class. Bias in that they want people who went the same path they did and don't want people who dance to a different tune.

    Really there is no legitimate reason why 80% of the jobs out there require a diploma, but requiring one is just "easier" for the hiring managers so they do it.

  • ||

    But even with a bad high school dropping out is usually an indicator that the kid for whatever reason couldn't go for four years without being kicked out or being bored and just quitting, neither of which are going to be attractive traits to employers...

    What if the kid was hungry?

    And not all time at all high schools is wasted. I still think that in general a high school grad is going to be better equipped to take care of themselves than a drop out, and I simply can't buy that is all due to "stigma."

    In general, yes, but not exclusively.

  • MNG||

    Since it is true in general it's hard not to find drop out rates rising as anything other than a bad thing since what that means is that for every few people for who that works out great there are many more for whom that works out badly. That's what "in general" means.

  • ||

    But I think it can be largely attributed to excluding dropouts from seeking gainful employment by government regulation and regulatory capture.

    Ending work rules based on age would go a long way to dispelling the belief that a high school education is the minimum standard for someone to be deemed "employable."

  • MNG||

    Are many drop outs excluded by government rules? Can you point to some examples?

    I think most private companies just as a matter of policy red flag drop outs, and for good reason imo.

  • Citation||

    I think most private companies just as a matter of policy red flag drop outs

    Seen you claim that a bunch, backin it up time.

  • MNG||

    It's called common sense, it has a website I can link to if you need it.

    Looks like you really do.

  • Citation?||

    It's called common sense, it has a website I can link to if you need it.

    Looks like you really do.

    Blah blah blah you can't back up your claim.

    Huge surprise.

  • ||

    No it is true, most companies basically refuse to hire drop outs if there is any other option available to them. The exception is for jobs earning within about 125% of the minimum wage. So sure there won't be any shortage employment opportunities for dropouts, they are just going to have a very hard time moving past about $21k a year in salary, after that the jobs where being a drop out isn't an automatic exclusion from consideration are MUCH harder to find and where they do exist often require you to have acquired very specific skills through some means.

  • ||

    How many hours are a 16 year old allowed to work weekly compared to an 18 year old? Can they work in a factory? Can they work in a steel mill? A coal mine? A foundry? A auto plant?

    Those are the rules that are targeted at dropouts that I am referring to.

    Those and the ones that forbid them from working after midnight.

    Or you can skip what I wrote and just go to Page 3 of this document.

  • MNG||

    sloopy, there is a ton of statistics that adult drop outs do worse than adult non-drop outs, right? That's all after these restrictions.

  • Citation?||

    sloopy, there is a ton of statistics that adult drop outs do worse than adult non-drop outs, right? That's all after these restrictions.

    1) yes there are
    2) not what I was asking you about
    3) what kind of asshole reacts like you did to a request for sources (someone with no sources obviously...)
    4) care to take a stab at MY request?

  • MNG||

    Lonely tonight, eh?

    No high school drop outs to keep you company?

  • Citation?||

    So no sources then?

    Seriously, I wasn't initially rude, or cruel, I asked you to back up your citation and you attacked.

    WTF is wrong with you?

    What kind of misanthrope does that?

  • Citation?||

    *back up your claim

  • MNG||

    Lonely and desperate...

    I guess the two do go together.

    In general ;_

  • Citation?||

    So no sources then?

    Seriously, I wasn't initially rude, or cruel, I asked you to back up your claim and you attacked.

    WTF is wrong with you?

    What kind of misanthrope does that?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re:MNG

    Lonely and desperate...

    I guess the two do go together.

    In general ;_

    Pot, kettle, etc.

  • Old Mexican||

    Uh, worthless spoofer, a word of advise: I always add a comma at the end of the nick I am replying to.

  • I don't care||

    about you or how you write old spic

    you're easily one of the worst posters here, with your tired ass attempts to bang on people by changing their name to something derogatory

    you're like that stupid old fuck who keeps telling stories no one cares about, you're too fucking thick to see you're not funny or interesting

    fuck man, I'd prefer to eat a shit sandwich while watching MNG and rather trades stupidities than read a single half thought out grunt you commit to text

    shut the fuck up and die in a grease fire, before I get tired of laughing at you

  • Grey Ghost||

    ^OM got pwned

  • ||

    But those restrictions keep them from entering the workforce when they are ready to, so I think it should be deemed a contributing factor to those statistics.

    Just my opinion, mind you.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG

    But the general trend is clear; those who don't complete high school tend to do worse in life[...]


    Yeah, guaranteed loserhood

  • MNG||

    Do you know what a general trend means?

    WTF?

    You're like the third person that tries to argue against a general trend by pointing to anecdotes about succesful persons who dropped out.

  • Yes||

    Do you know what a general trend means?

    It means someone is making a lazy argument.

  • MNG||

    Well, lookee, one of my griefers is trying out new handles.

    How cute. Now if they tried "arguments."

  • Citation||

    Well, lookee, one of my griefers is trying out new handles.

    How cute. Now if they tried "arguments."

    You first General Trend. Then cry more.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Do you know what a general trend means?


    It means that you would rather argue from bogus statistics than actual reasons.

    If exceptional people were able to make exceptional contributions to mankind without having to waste time in a prison for teenagers, then less exceptional people can perfectly make less exceptional yet still important contributions to mankind without having to waste time in a prison for teenagers.

    By the way, there are plenty of idiots out there with high school diplomas who can't understand the instructions on prescription bottles - as a general trend.

  • MNG||

    Bogus statistics?

    You don't think drop outs in general do worse than non-drop outs? That drop outs are disproportionately in prison, on welfare, etc?

  • ||

    I agree with you that they do, MiNGe. I just think the government makes laws and work rules that force dropouts out of large segments of the job market, making them more likely to get involved in crime and bad shit.

    That and there are a lot of dumbass laws on the books that target young peoples' lifestyles, and one with more free time is going to be more likely to get caught up in our idiotic legal system.

  • MNG||

    OK, I see what you're getting at now; we have laws that leave the drop out without chances for legitimate employment and all the good that will entail.

    But sloop, I'm pretty sure if you take drop outs that got into no trouble in their years between dropping out and majority age and non-drop outs later in life, the latter group does much better in general and is much less likely to be in prison, on welfare, etc.

    Studies show drop outs in general have much lower IQ and other basic aptitudes and skills (Charles Murray has written on this a lot). Dropping out is often simply an indicator of a less than great prospective employee, and to the extent that they would have learned something useful in the years they missed, it can also be a contributing cause of that...

  • ||

    Studies show drop outs in general have much lower IQ and other basic aptitudes and skills (Charles Murray has written on this a lot).
    But there are jobs they would be perfect for.
    Dropping out is often simply an indicator of a less than great prospective employee, and to the extent that they would have learned something useful in the years they missed, it can also be a contributing cause of that...
    But I will keep going back to the limitations placed on dropouts by the government being a contributing factor of that rate being higher.

    Unfortunately, the regulatory apparatus is in place, and I cannot be proven right or wrong until it is dismantled. Therefore, I'd have to say you're right, but only because the system makes it that way.

  • MNG||

    Sure, there are jobs they would be perfect for, but they are for the same reasons shut out of a ton of jobs.

    I think given the correlations of really bad aptitude and behaviors most drop outs wouldn't be out there working in these jobs even if the regulatory restrictions on youth labor were lifted...

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I never once gave the educational background of any employee I've hired a second thought[*]. I'm a lot more interested in what a person actually can do than how many hours they sat around listening to someone talk and writing papers on topics nobody cares about.

    [*] Well, other than to pass over resumes from degree-mills like DeVry (who was on that panel--of course he wants people to be in school for decades, he runs a for profit private school).

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I'd rather pay a dollar to see more people learn some basic skills that would increase their chances to take care of themselves and any dependents they have than five to imprison or take care of them later.


    I would rather open a school and MAKE a dollar by giving kids basic skills than paying anything. But the government hates competition.

  • MNG||

    Judging from all the private schools in my community you should do so, there must be a market for it, even with the government subsidized competition.

  • Citation||

    I'd rather pay a dollar to see more people learn some basic skills that would increase their chances to take care of themselves and any dependents they have than five to imprison or take care of them later.

    I'd rather debate fairly instead of making hyperbolic either or arguments.

    "DROPOUTS EQUAL PRISONERS!!!!! DERP!!!!"

    Watch him try to defend that.

  • MNG||

    "On any given day, about one in every 10 young male high school dropouts is in jail or juvenile detention, compared with one in 35 young male high school graduates, according to a new study of the effects of dropping out of school in an America where demand for low-skill workers is plunging."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10.....opout.html

  • Citation?||

    And that has what to do with your ridiculous hyperbolic false dilemma?

    Did you drop put before you learned not to do that, and that's why you did it?

  • MNG||

    What's a drop put? Did you do that in high school?

  • Citation?||

    What's a drop put?

    If you hadn't skipped speech and debate, you'd know, and you'd know why your false dilemma is nonsense.

    Back to that now that your attempt to derail with a typo is over...

    Your false dilemma? No defense then?

  • ||

    What's a drop put?

    It's probably another "You're OK, I'm OK" event added to high school track meets so kids who aren't as strong as other kids can still make the team and compete.

  • MNG||

    +1

  • Appalachian Australian||

    The factors that make these "young males" drop out of high school might be the same factors that make them end up in jail. I'm guessing the root causes are matters of parentage or early childhood experiences.

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    If you really want to help these kind of kids, become a foster or adoptive parent and raise them the best you can. Then you can encourage these kids to stay in high school, college, graduate school, etc. so they can be "high skilled" workers.

  • MNG||

    Sure, I agree with that. My point is that the employer faced with the drop out is going to red flag for that reason; it's an indicator of problems and could also be a cause (in general of course).

  • Tim ||

    My point is that the employer faced with the drop out is going to red flag for that reason

    While freaking out when asked to support your claim.

  • MNG||

    Ah, Tim is the stalker?

  • Tim||

    No, Tim is not, Tim just watched you freak out.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Speaking as an employer, I never gave a crap whether or not someone graduated from high school.

    I'm not even sure where my employees went to high school or if they graduated. I was completely shocked to learn the other week that one had a bachelors degree in business, though. Poor fellow is now assigned various bookkeeping and paperwork tasks. (Previously I considered such work beneath him.)

  • Monty||

    Nice

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    The statistic also shows that of the 9.4% which make the incarcerated population and happen to be dropouts, most are blacks. Maybe the problem is not simply not graduating from high school but actually not graduating from high school AND being black.

    Thank you for that very enlightening statistic, MNG.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I think it's pretty well understood that both law enforcement and public education hate black people and always have, so it should be no surprise they're either herded into jail by racist or law enforcement or coerced into dropping out by crummy school districts like DCPS.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Also, why is the ultimate measure of a human's worth how an employer would see them?

    Can't people be free citizens who live by their own merits? An employer's ultimate employee would be a slave. If all that matters is employability, high schools should round up their graduates for sale to the highest bidder. 100% employment, guaranteed!

  • MNG||

    "why is the ultimate measure of a human's worth how an employer would see them?"

    Who thinks that? It's clearly not.

    But how attractive you are to employees is certainly related to my initial point about being able to take care of yourself and not ending up on welfare.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    You could also, you know, go out and work for yourself and take care of yourself that way.

    Nobody "ends up" on welfare; they choose to apply and appreciate receiving the free benefits. Shucks, after finishing up a few 100 hour work weeks last month punctuated by being sick with a fever for 4 (unpaid) days, welfare is sounding like a mighty fine idea...

  • Nando||

    This is what Capitalists really believe.

  • MNG||

    Yup, it's rather all right.

    Enjoyed the discussion with everyone else though, take care.

  • not rather||

    take care.

    so wait, all we have to do to stop you spreading lies and stupidity is pretend to be rather?

    Fuck I'm in.

  • ||

    Does that mean I win?

    Yeah, I win!!!!!!!!

    [I keed]

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Nando,

    This is what Capitalists really believe.


    This coming from the imbecile that believes that increased capacity will increase the price of the product.

  • ||

    Correlation Causation

    Specifically just because there is a correlation between being a high school dropout does not mean that being a highschool dropout makes one more likely to be in prison, in fact it can very easily be argued that being dispossed to criminal activity leads one to drop out, specifically around gangs and drugs, why should a kid waste time in school when he can drop out and make 30k a year selling drugs on the street corner? filter out the kids who were already in legal trouble before dropping out and recompare the stats.

    Even then however both dropping out and being in jail highly correlate with poverty, race, educational attainment of the parents, paternal involvement in the kids life, etc. The most likely result is that the correlation between being in prison and dropping out is due to both being controled by other factors not directly related to either fact.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Judging from all the private schools in my community you should do so, there must be a market for it, even with the government subsidized competition.


    The real money is in selling to poor people, not to rich people - the market is much bigger. However, government regulation and zoning laws already stack the deck against small entrepreneurs by mandating all sorts of non-academic requirements that convert a simple school into the equivalent of a low-security prison... with all the costly barrier-to-entry expenditures that they entail.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    I begrudgingly agree with your point, however I don't think forcing more to graduate gets the results you desire, as you are associating a specific action to employ-ability.

    Meaning, the diploma doesn't necessarily raise employ-ability, but that those who are more likely to be employed, graduate.

    If getting people to be employed is the goal, then teaching and reinforcing those behaviors should be looked at.

    Of course that would mean one could easily say reading idiotic books like the Joy Luck Club and writing about it is irrelevant crap and that cannot be tolerated.

  • np||

    We need a conference sponsored by the Thiel Fellowship for balance, which:

    awards $100,000 each to 20 people under 20 years old to "stop out" of college and create their own business ventures

  • Almanian Microsoft BOT||

    Like THAT'LL ever work! LOL!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Man, dropping out of college and going to work for a dodgy startup is the smartest thing I ever did. And getting a full time job when I was a freshman in high school is probably the second-smartest.

    English majors and certified interior decorators are terrified of people who work based on their merits, not the number of sheepskins on their office wall.

  • mik c.||

    A while ago I linked to this story I heard on NPR: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/201.....rick-roach
    I had my 12 year old take some of the same test the dude in the story took, she got six of seven reading comp questions correct.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Man, a DeVry executive was on the panel? Everyone knows DeVry degrees are about worthless (other than for government employees); candidates with degrees from DeVry, Univ. of Phoenix, etc. go straight in the circular file, even before those with no postsecondary credentials at all.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I've noticed quite a few Univ. of Phoenix credentials while reading bios of execs in commercial real estate. It made me take notice, but I figure an MBA is an MBA? Especially if you are a busy, successful executive.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    There's definitely a difference in MBA progammes, mostly based on the contacts you'll make with other students in the programme and the kind of internship possibilities you'll find.

    Even at the same school, there can be big differences between, for example, a day programme and a night programme (the latter being for working adults). You simply aren't going to make nearly as many useful connections, which is a large part of what business (especially a business like real estate) is about, going to night classes with other working adults juggling parenthood, home ownership, etc.

    People who strut around a U. of Phoenix MBA tend to be the kind of people who BS their way through anything... the kind of people who get into shady real estate operations.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    People who strut around a U. of Phoenix MBA tend to be the kind of people who BS their way through anything... the kind of people who get into shady real estate operations.

    I think that is an unfair characterization of U of P grads, generally. And the executives I was referring to are actually accomplished people who work for very reputable firms.

  • Amakudari||

    IMO it's more that MBA coursework is generally irrelevant to commercial real estate. So they get the ability to say "then I got my MBA" in a conversation.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Maybe. I agree that the coursework is mostly irrelevant to commercial real estate dealmaking. However, I think an MBA from U of P is legit for executives who want to manage the operations/finances of the firm.

  • Amakudari||

    Maybe. As far as I can tell that sort of stuff can be taught anywhere.

    At least in my industry, finance, there are designations like the CFA that is basically accepted as interchangeable with MBA coursework. Some prefer the CFA because an MBA can be a cakewalk. I've been through the CFA (let's say 5,000 pages of reading, hundreds of problem sets, 750 hours of study, only one chance to pass each year, so it's serious).

    No one acts like the CFA Institute is an educational institution, but it's serving the same purpose. If you're not looking for the networking, recruiting advantages or one-on-one attention in a graduate program, there are plenty of viable, well-structured programs out there.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    It just seems to be easier to graduate from these places without knowing anything.

    So people who were just interested in the paper, paid, learned little if anything, and due to their ignorance they are unable to spot ignorance, they are arrogant about it.

    Others went for both the paper and knowledge and learned quite a great deal which they will use to their direct professional advantage, even if they never told anyone they had an MBA.

  • Old Mexican||

    The fastest way to solve the dropout problem is to remove the stigma of dropping out.


    Or, easier, to lower the standards.

    High school graduation rates continue to improve nationally and across many states and school districts[...]


    Hmm, I guess they're already trying that idea.

  • lol||

    Will the Supreme Court strike down the individual mandate?

  • Lewis H||

    And his Mittness wins Illinois
    take that Republitards

  • Citation?||

    So we've determined that MNG throws a temper tantrum when asked to support his claims, then verbally berates the person asking.

    Doesn't MNG stand for Mr. Nice Guy? That must mean your a pot head cause you're certainly not nice.

    The saddest part for him is that I'm going to go do something productive now, and he's going to post under me because he has to have the last word and try to make me look bad.

    Well go ahead. You have my permission, Me. Nice Guy.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I'd love to see MNG back up his endless fount of wisdom about how private employers make hiring decisions with any personal experience he actually has hiring employees or retaining them.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Oh, yeah, I should add that making employment decisions based on high school diplomas is illegal if the overall effect is discriminatory (which it usually is) if there is no real basis for the job requiring a high school education. (As far other bogus requirements, like requiring English proficiency when not needed for the job, or requiring college diplomas for blue collar jobs, etc.)

    But I'm sure MNG will be back soon to lecture us on the finer points of hiring, whilst being completely clueless as to the actual state of modern employment law.

  • MNG||

    "your"
    "Me. Nice Guy."

    You should have stayed in school.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Could you please explain how your "red flags" theory of employment doesn't violate anti-discrimination laws?

    Which is what leads me to believe you have no idea how employment actually works in 2012.

  • shrike||

    "DROPOUTS EQUAL PRISONERS!!!!! DERP!!!!"

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Being forced to report to a government educational institution each day, without pay, sounds a lot like being a prisoner...

  • ||

    government educational institution each day, without pay,

    Shrike probably looks at it as a 12-year dream.

  • HeroicMulatto||

    plenty of specimens of a type that has mercifully become extinct almost everywhere except Washington, DC: pear-shaped men under 30 who still rock the blue-blazer/ecru slacks/buttondown shirt look.

    This from a man who dresses like he's in a community dinner theater production of Guys and Dolls?

    Chutzpah.

  • Grey Ghost||

    Weren't you crying earlier because someone called you a name?

  • HeroicMulatto||

    No. Where are you getting this?

  • Nando||

    I think we should make kids decide by middle school if they are going to need a college education or a trade school. If they want to learn a trade, give them basic literary skills and get them into an apprenticeship program.

  • Sevo||

    Nando|3.20.12 @ 9:33PM|#
    "I think we should make kids..."

    Under penalty of what? Who is "we"? And why should that nebulous "we" "make kids" do anything at all?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I think that we should make college kids get basic literacy skills and get them into an apprenticeship programme.

  • ||

    Because we can. They're so tiny, and we are so large. It all makes sense.

  • Nando||

    we already make them go to public school
    we just change what courses they are signed up for
    when's the last time you saw a seventh grader pick their own courses

  • Nando||

    and you punish the parents for unleashing useless crotchfruit on the country

  • Sevo||

    Nando|3.20.12 @ 9:57PM|#
    "and you punish the parents for unleashing useless crotchfruit on the country"

    Uh, try English. Lost my brain-dead decoder ring.

  • ||

    I'd let Nando determine my child's future. He sounds like a trustworthy guy.

  • Sevo||

    Nando|3.20.12 @ 9:56PM|#
    "we already make them go to public school"

    Well, *there's* a justification! For something...

  • Realist||

    It's not that dropping out of school is a problem. It's that the people in this country are so fucking stupid that they can't complete school. Many that graduate from college are idiots...look who is President of the US.

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • shrike||

    Hey everbody look at me crap all over this thread!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  • ||

    You call that crapping?

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shrike||

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sevo||

    Maybe this is implicit in the article, but why is this a 'public' issue at all?
    Say the drop-out rates go to 75%; what happens that involves interest of the general public?
    Not snarking, just asking.

  • Amakudari||

    Here's the problem: the way that we've been solving the dropout problem is to push the bar lower. People who would have been discouraged from continuing after showing no ability or interest in schooling are still passed each grade, one year at at time, with the best students. Taxpayers pay money to have unmotivated students babysat, and serious students pay for the diverted focus and lessened intellectual climate.

    Graduation is a noble goal only if it means something. But here's where we are. DC has achievement on par with Qatar, yet 73% of students graduate.

  • Amakudari||

    And you can look at colleges, where you'll have some students spending the first two years in remedial courses and others who come in with almost their entire liberal arts quota filled.

    The fact is, high school graduation at this point is meaningless. It weeds out almost no one and fails to instill anything beyond basic literacy and numeracy.

  • Sevo||

    Amakudari|3.20.12 @ 10:11PM|#
    ..."It weeds out almost no one and fails to instill anything beyond basic literacy and numeracy."

    Literacy, perhaps. 'Nuff said.

  • Amakudari||

    I'm distinguishing between the ability to read a sentence and grasp its literal meaning vs full prose proficiency. Literacy is a continuum, but AFAICT most high school graduates achieve basic skills, if barely. So they'll emerge from high school able to read receipts, road signs and popular magazines and comment on YouTube videos.

  • Sevo||

    I wasn't clear.
    Numeracy seems missing in quite a few 'graduates'.

  • Nando||

    Here's what they do in Germany
    92% Graduation Rates

  • Sevo||

    Ah, yes, those Euro sure know how to...
    Uh, what?

  • Nando||

    Educate their Children?

  • Sevo||

    Nando|3.20.12 @ 10:20PM|#
    "Educate their Children?"

    Could be, but you didn't show that.

  • ||

    Consulting the Co-capital of Eurofaggotry for educational statistics won't lead leftists where they think it'll lead them.

  • Amakudari||

    So only minor differences. Similar length of schooling, similar college system. The only difference is tuition, but there are nations like Japan where a full half of high schools are private. Germans learn a bit about the prevailing religion and take a few more courses, but in a shorter period of time.

    Thinking this will fix the US sounds like a cargo cult to me.

    Kids spend 7 hours, give or take, in school for 180 days a year. That's 14% of the year. The other 86% plays a huge role in their attitudes toward education (which is not equal to "school") and their independent intellectual pursuits.

  • ||

    E'rry bawdy meets sumbawdy

    Evuh-ree WUN meets sumWUN

  • Killazontherun||

    OT

    He Lives!

    http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q.....TIHB7mGqDi

    Andy Warhol looks a scream
    Hang him on my wall
    Andy Warhol, Silver Screen
    Can't tell them apart at all

  • johnl||

    Three and one fifths it's kind of a trick question because there are only four bounces after the first.

  • ||

    Yes!

    The most interesting part of this column was the math problem.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike's friend||

    That's soooo heavy ...

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • shrike||

    A dollar a day, roast beef, and the Chinese must go.

  • Shreeky Sachssucker||

    My heroes. Sigh.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XS7w...../image.png

    They make me gush from my vagina.

  • ||

    All I know is that the absolute worst thing we could do is leave education decisions entirely up to parents and kids.
    Educational systems should not develop around serving the desires of parents and kids for the kind of education they want.
    Everything needs to stay top-down, and kids who live in shitty neighborhoods must be doomed to worthless schools.

  • L13||

    Had me going there for a moment till I read the last sentence.

  • johnl||

    Just get rid of the last sentence and you have the bipartisan consensus.

  • ||

    Makes a whole lot of sense dude.

    www.real-world-anon.tk

  • snapped twig||

    All the smart droupouts lie on their job applications anyway. Hey , I got a GED so I figure I could claim I graduated. I lied about being convicted of a felony half of the time.I make 80 grand with an A.A.S.

  • han||

    And of course, the reason possessors of high school diplomas make more on average is that so many companies won’t hire non-graduates.

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