By Deborah Williams
Kelsey Sheehy’s post, “Public-Private Ties Needed to Prevent High School Dropouts,” on U S News and World Reports High School Notes blog describes the need to prevent high school dropouts. Sheehy points out that the nearly 1 million students who drop out each year mean that about 7,000 students are dropping out daily. According to Tony Miller, deputy secretary of the Department of Education, “The dropout issue costs our country about a trillion dollars. It’s the equivalent of a permanent recession.”
Sheehy asserts that the government alone cannot alleviate the dropout crisis; the private sector must work along with the government to address the issue. Significant partnerships between education communities and private companies have taken place already. AT & T’s Aspire Initiative, for example, has contributed “more than $100 million to improve graduation rates and career readiness through job shadowing.” Home Depot has helped students connect “their in-class learning to the world outside of the classroom” by helping students create a community garden and to build handicap accessible ramps to it. Experts see the need to establish this connection as crucial in preventing dropout rates.
Of course, preventing students from dropping out and increasing graduation rates will require the collective efforts of educations, governments, and business.