Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Make school cool: Give dropouts a choice

If you are a recipient of food stamps or medicare you have a choice of grocery stores or doctors. Why do we not have a choice of schools. Parents not legislators should decide what an adequate education is for their children. We hope when the legislature defines an "adequate education" they remember that for thousands of years parents have more than adequately educated their children at reasonable costs.

Choice should not be just given to dropouts but all students.

The following editorial appeared in the Union Leader.

Make school cool: Give dropouts a choice

EVERY KID should graduate from high school. Making reluctant ones do that is the hard part.

Gov. John Lynch has renewed his effort to ban any minors from dropping out of high school. His goal is probably a bit more realistic than President Bush's idea that Washington can, simply by mandating it, turn America's children into proficient students. To work, it will take some significant changes.

The word among education professionals is that kids don't drop out at 16. They drop out as early as elementary school. Bored and frustrated, they mentally check out. Their rears are in the seats, but their minds are elsewhere.

The best way for Gov. Lynch to realize his goal is not to spend millions on remedial programs. It is to give these kids an attractive alternative to their regular public schools. He can do this by letting parents take struggling students out of schools where they are falling behind and move them to schools -- public or private -- that might excite them.

The goal should be to engage those minds, not just buckle the bodies into their seats for two more years.

Quote of the day.

"I believe that school choice is the most pressing civil rights issue of the nineties!"

-- Alveda King Tookes, niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and founder of King for America, a civil rights group whose primary issue is promoting school choice.

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