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From Dropouts to Fully Functioning Adults: What's Missing in Our Efforts to Fix America's Public Educational System

Steve Rothschild

February 22, 2012

"Young people pay a high price for not graduating high school. Drop-outs earn substantially less than their friends who have diplomas—when they're employed. The recession is tougher on them: their unemployment rates are higher than the rest of the population. Their risk of going to jail is higher, too. The rest of America also pays a high price for this awful situation: in lost talent, in lost taxes, the costs of social services we provide, and the costs of dealing with crime. And we can't even say that the whole world is in the same boat. We rank 8th from the bottom in a comparison of high school graduation rates among the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But we don't have to accept this travesty. We can teach young people the attitudes and skills they need to succeed in school and in life. And we can make it worthwhile for schools make the effort."

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