Universities must engage the issue of high school dropouts

Posted by on January 29, 2007

[posted from Public Education Network newsblast]


University of Buffalo president John B. Simpson is the author of an opinion piece calling for institutions of higher education — and especially public universities — to more fully engage the issue of Pre K-16 education in their communities. While there has been a rightful sense of frustration with high school dropout rates, President Simpson cautions against measures that treat the problem as originating only in high schools, calling for a much broader, creative approach, which public universities are uniquely positioned to lead. He writes, “(Pundits are)? pointing fingers at the usual suspects: lax education laws, poorly trained teachers, and indifferent parents. But societal conditions, like dysfunctional classrooms, student boredom, discrimination, and communities torn by drugs and violence, also are to blame. Indeed, for many dropouts, these conditions were a part of their lives long before high school. Therefore, dropouts are not only saying good riddance to a lousy school experience; they are reflecting a complex set of social and educational ills in need of systemic solutions. Because of this complexity, blaming a single cause is not a wise approach.”


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