High School Graduation Rate Is An All-Time High, But 20+ Million Are Still Without a Degree
In what should be hailed as an accomplishment – the highest high school completion rate for those age 25+ in America – ever – seems like a statistical tribute to what’s wrong in the United States.
Yes, on the positive side, the graduation rate is rising but on the negative side, in 2018, we still have one in ten adults age 25 or older, without a high school degree. In a nation of 330 million that’s tens of millions of people who are not only lost, they are far from being contributors. They are the wasteland of the nation.
How could anyone function without a high school diploma? What career prospects do you have without that? What skills do you have?
Think about it. In the new era of watered-down degrees, where one can fail, fail, fail and then barely pass and get a diploma, where one can get a GED in prison, where one can do virtual learning or get credit at school for certain experiences, where one can cheat and lie to “earn” a diploma, how could, as many as 10% of adults not have a degree?
Sure, there are reasons for everything. Poverty, teen pregnancy, youthful crimes, drugs, and other issues play a role in why one falls off the education grid. But teen pregnancy is historically low and because of the Internet and more forgiving state governments, anyone with a pulse can get a second, third, fourth, fifth chance at accumulating enough credits over a decade to get a high school diploma.
But imagine if we can improve on that graduation rate – not by marginal numbers – but significantly? Imagine if we can increase the number of high school graduates by millions of people who had already dropped out? Can you be a part of the solution?
Kids get off course. They develop a drug addiction or lousy habits that put them in bad crowds that lead to making school secondary. They commit crimes, they take menial jobs to support a family, they get high and fail to see the value in a degree, or they get pregnant and get saddled with a burden that forces them out of school. To prevent people from missing a chance to graduate high school is to resolve many major problems in America, from poverty and teen sexuality, to drugs and crime. That’s a tall order.
But how could we leave people behind and not try to get them back on track? These people are part of our society. They will be on our roads and working somewhere. They will be our neighbors and raising kids of their own. They’ll also consume services, from prison to healthcare to police. We all win when our graduation rates rise, but how can we do this?
I don’t profess to be a policy expert in this area – and many of the experts have failed us – but it seems that, like with all social ills, society has to make the collective case for something, not just against something.
We can’t just say:
Don’t do drugs!
Don’t get pregnant!
Don’t drop out of school!
We need positive, empowering slogans, and constant reminders of what to do, how to do it, and where to seek support and help. Tell us what to do instead of drugs. Show us safe sex methods. Encourage us to stay in school and identify the rewards that go with an education. And while we’re at it, let’s show our youth a better world. Let’s each be better role models.
Life can be quite challenging and throw each of us some crazy shit. Some get more than their fair share of burdens, shortcomings, losses, and ailments. But there has to be a vision to achieve, lots of love, hope and support and real resources to help us to do better, do what’s right, and to be at our best.
A 90% grad rate is the best America’s ever done. We can do better – and together, we will.
Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America and participated in a PR panel at the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Institute Conference.
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