Dropouts ; Hurt Selves, States

By Gzedit | The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV), January 30, 2013 | Go to article overview

Dropouts ; Hurt Selves, States


Gzedit, The Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV)


Nearly one-fourth of West Virginia teens drop out of high school, matching the U.S. average. That's a dismal loss, both for the youths and the state. Their futures are hobbled, many doomed to failure.

Three-fourths of West Virginia prison inmates are high school dropouts, education reporter Mackenzie Mays found. About 80 percent of teens who quit school eventually wind up behind bars. Dropouts also suffer more poverty, unemployment, drug abuse, unwed pregnancy and other ills.

Former Gov. Bob Wise has crusaded against this problem as president of the Alliance for Excellent Education. He wrote:

"The nearly 1.3 million students who did not graduate from high school in 2010 will likely cost the nation over $337 billion in lost lifetime earnings. Were the nation to cut its high school dropout rate in half, those 'new' high school graduates would likely create 54,000 new jobs - and that's just for one graduating class. As these numbers show, the best economic stimulus package is a high school diploma."

Clearly, anything that keeps teens in high school boosts not just the teens themselves, but also their families, their communities, their states and their nation.

For those who already quit, the best remedy is a general equivalency diploma. …

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