Creating the Dropout: An Institutional and Social History of School Failure

By Sherman Dorn | Go to book overview

Introduction

One of the six goals of official education policy in the United States is to achieve a 90 percent graduation rate by the year 2000. Overlook for the moment the arbitrary threshold of 90 percent and the question of what a high school graduation rate might be. Politicians created the America 2000 education policy, and grandiose statements from them are not unusual. Think instead of why the second goal (90 percent graduation), as opposed to several dozen others one could mention, is one of the six highest priorities of official federal policy. At a summit of the nation's governors and the president in 1989, the zeitgeist or collective political instincts (depending on your interpretation) suggested that high schools should graduate the vast majority of students. The 90 percent graduation goal represents, at the very least, the importance we attach to high school completion (U. S. Department of Education 1991).

At least two ironies accompany this policy goal of 90 percent graduation. One is that the overwhelming majority of students already receive some sort of diploma. This should not obscure the existence of population groups whose members are much less likely to graduate than the general population. (In addition, there are questions about whether current statistics reflect the success of high schools or the growth in alternative diploma programs.) However, the policy target is for improvement in the general population, not reducing inequality in who receives diplomas. The graduation target is thus a marginal improvement over current conditions.

The second irony is that the goal of nearly universal graduation directly conflicts with other priorities in education reform over the past fifteen years. High among the views of many education critics in the recent past has been the belief that schools need to raise standards, set specific requirements for graduating from high school, and ensure that a diploma is a valuable credential. The only way for a diploma to have some comparative value, though, is to contrast those

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Creating the Dropout: An Institutional and Social History of School Failure
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Long-Term Demographic Patterns 11
  • 2 - The Changing Mission of High Schools 33
  • 3 - Early Attitudes toward Attrition 51
  • 4 - Social Dynamite 65
  • 5 - The Limits of Dropout Programs 81
  • 6 - Omissions 99
  • 7 - Dropout Tides 119
  • 8 - The Demeaning Dropout Debate 131
  • Bibliography 147
  • Index 165
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 167

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.