The hierarchy of influence and power in a school is in some cases a necessary thing, but it occasionally goes too far.
The amount of control a single group of people has over what happens to an entire county of students in regards to their education astounds me. Throw in frustrated parents, stressed students, and government officials trying to cut spending in schools, it is not difficult to see why Florida’s average graduation rate (77.9%) is much lower than the national rate (80.1%).
Granted, that is certainly a majority of students, but that is still one fifth of all enrolled students not graduating from high school. On average, 7,000 students drop out of school every day. Shouldn’t the government be doing more to try to get these kids back into school? Almost all jobs these days require a high school diploma at the minimum.
There are a few plans for keeping students in school officially sponsored by the government of Florida, but there are no government-funded programs dedicated to encouraging students who have dropped out to come back to school and complete their degree.
With the level of education needed for a middle-income job rising as more people seek advanced degrees, a student should strive to make the most of the education provided by the state as they can. College is not for everyone; however, high school is a (painful) necessity to achieve higher things.
The only incentives students have to stay in high school is their driver’s license, since the Florida government passed a law giving the Department of Motor Vehicles the responsibility to suspend any existing license and not grant one to students who have dropped out of high school or who have 15 unexcused absences in 90 days.
In the past ten years, more changes have been made to Florida’s education system on both the state and county levels than the students can comprehend. From changing the FCAT to the FSA to using an Alpha-based GPA system instead of a numeric system to implanting Common Core standards in schools statewide, it’s easy to see why some students just want out of a system that can’t seem to make up its mind.
Although the Florida government gets more done than the national Congress, they don’t seem to be able to stick with any decision regarding education for very long.
With students not sure what’s going to be thrown at them by the system and stressed parents who just want their kids to get through high school and go off to college, the string tying families and the education system together is straining thinner and thinner every day.
While the government is too heavily involved directly in the education process, it (the government) must take a stand on preventing further increases in dropout rates. It is a paradox; the government needs to be less involved in the restricting course we teach and give teachers more freedom to teach what they want, but they cannot keep the same low level of attention they have been giving on other issues, such as the dropout rates and students failing out of their classes.
A school is a place for learning, not for a power struggle between teachers, government, and parents.