The national high school graduation rate of 68.8 percent in 2007 was 3 percentage points higher than in 1997.
The graduation rate n the greatest country on earth is less than 70%? That means nearly 1/3 young people are left under-educated and not prepared to reach their God-given potential.
Unfortunately, many of these students are poor and ethnic minorities. That indicates that they have failed to take advantage of the greatest anti-poverty program ever created.
It's amazing that our nation's focus on education for the past few generations hasn't penetrated all sectors of society.
We basically have universal telephone service. Running water. Electricity. Access to emergency rooms.
But a quality education should be on that list.
We need a radical change. We need to eliminate the "public school" model and have Universal vouchers for everyone. There would still be public schools, but no one would be assigned a particular school by their local government. Every parent should be given a sufficient amount of money to find a school for their child that they think will best serve their needs.
As a nation we should move away from the government determining what works, and put that responsibility on each parent. There needs to be more options including community schools with a particular focus (maybe a trade like auto-mechanic), home schools, more funding for religious schools, etc. Whatever it is that can work.
When we have nearly half of students dropping out in major cities, this is a crisis. It affects everyone. The answer is personal freedom. A market-place where the government's role is to root out waste, fraud, and abuse. But let new ideas flourish.