The statistics regarding high school dropouts are bad enough to make any parent cringe.
For example, according to an article published in the New York Times, the average high school graduate will earn 50 to 100 percent more than someone who drops out of school. And, those who do drop out are more likely to draw on welfare. Also, they’re more likely to be embroiled in the criminal justice system. This isn’t something that any parent would wish on a child, yet, there are some teens who insist that dropping out is the right decision for them.
Options for High School Dropouts
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 8.1 percent of students dropped out in 2009.
Educators and politicians have tried for decades to convince students to stay in school, and these programs are succeeding, to some degree. The number of dropouts in the 1980s and 1990s had reached epidemic levels. But, laws requiring mandatory attendance until a specific age, along with increased parental knowledge of the risks of dropping out, have helped many students to get the education they need.
However, many students still find the need to drop out, no matter what their parents or their educators might say. Students with drug addictions, for example, may fall so far behind in school due to their addictions. They fear they’ll never catch up, no matter how much they try. Also, students who get pregnant may also drop out of school to care for the baby.
For example, there are some states that are required to accept students into public schools if they can prove residency and are beneath a particular age cutoff point. If students reconsider their decision, they can go back to the schools and re-enroll. This might be a good option for students who have temporary disruptions in their lives due to poor living environments or substance abuse. And, once these students have attended to the issues that forced them to drop out, they can then move on and complete their degrees at a later time.
GED Provides an Alternate
Students who have no interest in enrolling in their old schools might benefit from taking the GED. This is a test that measures how much information students know. And, it’s designed to ensure that students have learned the same things they would have picked up in completed educational program.
Students can prepare for the test by:
- Taking online courses
- Buying and studying books at home
- Enrolling in preparation courses in the community
- Hiring a tutor
There have been some vocal critics of the GED who claim that this certification isn’t quite as valuable as a high school diploma. However, the test is often all that’s required for students who would like to go on to community college, or accept higher positions at work. This could be a fine option for some students.
Heading to Work
Teens are stubborn, it is often hard to make them see the value of an education. For some students, work may be a good option. For example, if students can enroll in an entry-level position, they might be able to take classes through their employers and continue to learn. They might also be able to make a living wage, which could allow them to build a solid foundation for their lives.
Students with addiction issues will access counseling help when they enroll in teen rehab programs. Counselors will urge students to reexamine their decision to drop out. And, they may even be provided with tutoring and mentoring that could make getting their diploma or their GED a bit more likely.
Our approach provides help for teens at Newport Academy, including educational support. We’ve helped teens to understand the value of an education, and we’ve enrolled these students in our alternative high school, to help them complete their education.
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