But there is something else the contributes even more to the problems in our public schools. That would be the programs to keep the dropout rate down.
40 years ago dropouts were sent on their way and we had the benefit of uneducated farm and factory workers. They never made much and usually had a bad attitude.
Now the kids are kept in school. They’re even courted by the administration in order to keep their dropout rate low. So they stay in school. But they don’t study, they don’t perform and they contribute a lot to disrupting the classes which keep the other kids from learning.
Because the kids in school are adolescents they even think this kind of behavior is “cool” and something to emulate. This contributes to disciplinary problems and often results in kids who would not normally behave in a disruptive manner to do so in imitation. This in turn contributes to the “my Johnny wouldn’t do that” attitude from the parents. The parents don’t think their kids would behave like that because normally they wouldn’t. But being an adolescent and wanting to be “cool.” They do.
What is needed is to get these disruptive kids out of the classroom, not keep them there. They’re the ones that graduate unable to read and write at a high school level. They’re not learning by staying in school, they’re just marking time doing as little as they can get away with.
If they drop out they are going to be low skill, low income losers, but even if they stay they’re still going to be low skill, low income losers. We shouldn’t let them take other kids with them.
So basically we're giving a population of individuals the credentials of an education, but not the substance to back it up. Consider this in the context of illegal immigration. It's often said the illegal immigrants do the jobs nobody else will do. Could it perhaps be the case that we're impressing upon the citizens who would normally have done these jobs that they don't have to because they managed to "earn" a high school degree, even if they didn't earn it?