Dropout Nation

PBS Video, September 25, 2012

Every year, hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the United States quit high school without diplomas—an epidemic so out of control that nobody knows the exact number. FRONTLINE takes you inside a former “dropout factory” in Houston, Texas, for an unforgettable portrait of four students in crisis and the teachers, counselors and principal waging a daily struggle to get them to graduation.

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  • Puggg

    “Dropout factory.”

    As if it’s the school’s fault.

    • “Waiting For Superman” dealt with “dropout factories.”  And predictably, it blamed the schools rather than the students.  It showed one school in Los Angeles, its principal said that in the 40+ year history of the school, some 60,000 students have been enrolled, while there have been only 15,000 or so graduates.  “That shows you the damage that this school has done to this neighborhood.”  Then they showed the students — Mostly black.
      The school didn’t do damage to the neighborhood.  The black students did damage to both the school and the neighborhood.

      Another problem with the “dropout factory” metric is that it doesn’t account for students earning either diplomas at some other school or GEDs; the statistic presumes that a student who started as a freshman and who did not walk across the stage of that school’s graduation ceremony four calendar years later is a dropout.  In reality, a school could be so good that there is a high attrition rate.  There is one high school in inner city St. Louis that was called a “dropout factory” but is in reality an elite college prep magnet school, often ranked at or very near the top of all high schools in the state, can’t think of its name offhand.  But simply because not all freshmen, in fact, not even half of the freshmen, that enter as freshmen graduate from that school in four years, the school is stuck with this awful label.

      • robinbishop34

        can’t think of its name offhand

        McKinley? I think they graduate about 8 or 10 students a year.

        • McKinley (CJA) just recently added a high school program to its existing middle school.  That’s not the school I was thinking of.

          The answer is Metro.

      • I haven’t seen the Superman video but it should have included the students AND the parents. These parents seem to believe that schools are magic places that are supposed to make their kids smart. If their kids ain’t smart, blame the school!

  •  Too bad the White principal and counselor aren’t working in a White school, where their dedication and effort would amount to something. As it is, they are wasting their time and our tax dollars.

    • robinbishop34

       The white counselor spoke of working in a white school and said she simply wasn’t needed and had nothing to do. Responsible parents and stable homes will do that I guess.

      • ThomasER916

        Whites do that. It’s fairly easy to get Whites to be good students. When Whites are bad students you can usually find a teacher or staff at fault.

  • How long are we going to continue trying to prove that every moron must graduate high school and/or college–neither of which achievements, by the way, any longer has much of anything to do with actually being educated.  We need dishwashers and ditch diggers, too, and who cares if they can spell?

  • ILOVEMYRACE

    The liberal press and the racial apoligists always claim that “the school buildings are run down, they don’ have books, the teachers don’t care, students don’t have money, ”   The solution is always throw more money at the problem.

    But take a close look at the video — the school is modern, clean, and welcoming.  Teachers care.  Teachers go out of their way.  

    No, the problem isn’t the buildings or the books or the teachers.   It’s the students.

    Look at the clothers the students are wearing — nice, new, stylish.   These students have money, it is just that they prefer to waste in on garbage. 

    The problem is the low IQ of African and New World Indians (=Hispanics).

  • robinbishop34

    I watched this the other night.  The staff is actually more moronic than the students. Over and over again these kids would fail to show up for days at a time, come to school stoned, have to literally be badgered into going to class, show no academic interest or potential whatsoever, but the teachers and principal were always talking to these kids about ‘getting into college.’

    The woman with the short blonde hair was particularly flaky. She would pick one kid up (he is 19 btw), order him pizza, and give him money all to keep him coming back. When he didn’t appreciate what she had done for him she would devolve into this ‘you don’t appreciate me’ fit reminiscent of a bad Lifetime channel movie.  She and the principal both would talk of how sweet this same kid was on his ‘good days,’ trying to rationalize his otherwise childish temper tantrums.

    The real sick part is the woman was married with 3 little kids that she would admittedly neglect while chasing this idiot around town.

    • Puggg

       I saw that part.  She’s basically acting as a de facto parent to 17-to-19 year old high school students, one of whom lives close to the school.  Meanwhile, I could, and sometimes had to, as early as a nine-year old fourth grader, all alone in my house, go to bed at a proper time, wake myself up with my own alarm clock, shower, eat cold breakfast food, leave the house, lock the door and get myself to the bus stop.  The school itself was a little far to be walking or biking, but if worse came to worst, I bet I could have and would have biked to school.

      • Did you see the part where the 19-yo fifth year senior and the rest of his classmates are doing in his class?  They’re drawing circles around cartoon faces.  All the while, someone is speaking in the background about how “we all want what’s-his-face to succeed.”  Succeed at what?  Drawing circles around cartoon faces?  One day of what I did as a high school senior would probably make his brain melt down.

        BTW, I tweet every AR story, and the producer of “Dropout Nation,” one Frank Koughan, somehow noticed it, and he and I have exchanged a couple of snarky nasty tweets.  Don’t be surprised if he follows me here to this thread and hurls a couple of insults…er, compliments our way.

    • KD_Did

      I did see most of this last week. The blond woman thought that being nice and supportive would change how that loser would act. If i remember correctly He called HER and asked for pizza…and money and she did it.  Of course once her usefulness to him was complete he walked away with no appreciation for her kindness. A microcosm of liberal society.A good lesson for all whites. He will now move on to taking handouts from other whites throughout his life.

      • Up to my neck in CA

        “Of course once her usefulness to him was complete he walked away with no appreciation for her kindness. A microcosm of liberal society.A good lesson for all whites. He will now move on to taking handouts from other whites throughout his life.”

        This should be on billboards across the United States.

  • Barrack Osama

    I see them filling out worksheets that look like they belong in a kindergarten environment. This is a high school?

    Imagine all of the money spent on documentaries and things like these. Federal grants, donations, white teachers working overtime all over the country. Trillions of dollars worth of effort and this white teacher is still dragging this black kid out of his house stoned everyday. He’s 19, has to be chauffeured from his house to school directly by his white teacher to fill out one of those busywork worksheets anyone could do with their eyes closed (which he fails to do), and he’s supposed to go on to college? For as long as this goes on, blacks have no future. They need pragmatism, not more white liberal post-spiritual feel-good nonsense. They need to be encouraged to find jobs they can actually earn an honorable living with, not encouragement to pursue impossible astrophysics degrees or useless African Women’s Studies degrees.

  • crystal evans

    The most important thing for a child to succeed in school is parental involvement. Parents just cannot expect the school to do everything. Parents must make sure that kids do their homework before they watch tv or play video games. Parents must make every effort to go to parent teacher conferences and get active in the school’s parent teacher association.  If parent’s do not their job, how can they expect their kids to succeed.

  • MikeofAges

    The only place you will ever find a “dropout” factory is inside the human mind. The idea of a “dropout” is a concept created by human beings, a label if you wish. In other times and in
    other places still today people are allowed to simply go to work. Not that I am arguing that education is unnecessary. But when things don’t work out in school, you still have to let people go to work, including in white collars jobs when appropriate to the person’s capabilities and nature. There is a name for the process of demanding that a person follow a particular course of action or suffer onerous and destructive consequence if they do not. It is called extortion. Over a course of 50 years or more the extortion approach — stay in school, our government school, or else — has been tried and has failed. Time for something new.

  • TheTruthHurts4

     You can’t teach stupid.

  • JohnEngelman

    We are often told that schools should raise standards and reduce the dropout rate. Raising standards and reducing the dropout rate is like cutting taxes and balancing the budget. It cannot be done. 
               
    When standards are raised many students discover that they lack the ability to meet those standards. Therefore they drop out. Public schools, especially inner city schools, should be proud of high dropout rates. They mean that standards are not being compromised. 

    • Sloppo

      Cutting taxes and balancing the budget could work very well if the government stopped spending money on things it should not be spending money on.  

      • JohnEngelman

        The problem with that reasoning is that 51 percent of the voters cannot agree on what the government should not be spending money on. The government grew to its present size in response to popular demand. Every spending program has a powerful political constituency to protect it. The largest and most expensive spending programs are the most popular. 

        • Sloppo

          True.  My reasoning is correct, but the people who vote for their money are beginning to outnumber those who produce, so the downward spiral is probably irreversible at this time.  

          • JohnEngelman

            Sloppo,
                    
            I suspect you want to increase military spending, or at least maintain our current level.  In 2011 the United States spend 41 percent of what the world spends on the military. http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending What do we have to show for it? A successful military wins wars quickly, cheaply, and decisively. One cannot say that of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. In “The Art of War” Sun Tzu wrote, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ”  The U.S. military can be seen as an expensive government spending program that does not work. I recommend deep cuts in the defense budget, and a foreign policy less prone to invade and occupy other countries.

          • JohnEngelman

            Sloppo,
                    
            I suspect you want to increase military spending, or at least maintain our current level.  In 2011 the United States spend 41 percent of what the world spends on the military. http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending What do we have to show for it? A successful military wins wars quickly, cheaply, and decisively. One cannot say that of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. In “The Art of War” Sun Tzu wrote, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ”  The U.S. military can be seen as an expensive government spending program that does not work. I recommend deep cuts in the defense budget, and a foreign policy less prone to invade and occupy other countries.

          • vladdy1

            How ’bout just fghting wars to win, like we used to? If you continue cutting the defense budget, when the next 9-11 comes (and it will), we will be joining the caliphate now forming around the world. Obama has done a very thorough job of emptying out the military as it is, and he’s nowhere near through.’

          • JohnEngelman

            Sloppo,
                    
            I suspect you want to increase military spending, or at least maintain our current level.  In 2011 the United States spent 41 percent of what the world spends on the military. 
            http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending 

            What do we have to show for it? A successful military wins wars quickly, cheaply, and decisively. One cannot say that of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

            In “The Art of War” Sun Tzu wrote, “There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. ”  

            The U.S. military can be seen as an expensive government spending program that does not work. I recommend deep cuts in the defense budget, and a foreign policy less prone to invade and occupy other countries.

          • Sloppo

            You suspect wrong.  I believe we should defend our country, but our military spends the vast majority of it’s resources fighting other people’s wars.  We should learn to mind our own business.  Our military should be used to defend our borders and to help the people who don’t belong here pack their bags for the trip back to their homelands.  Instead, we fight muslims and at the same time we feed them and welcome them to colonize our lands.  What could be more stupid?  We should establish and defend borders between us and them, let them determine their own political and economic destinies, and enjoy the right to do the same for ourselves.  The potential for monetary savings for us is enormous and we wouldn’t have to sacrifice the precious lives of so many of our young soldiers.

  • Sloppo

    If they persevere and graduate from that high school, perhaps they will be ready to go on to the next level and enroll in DUI school.

  • Ya can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

  • Eddie Willers

    America, what art thou becoming?

    A ‘kid’ of 19 is still at school? What nonsense-on-stilts is this?

    Teach ’em the 3 Rs and push them onwards to vocational training…never mind this small-minded insistence on ‘graduating’.

    • IstvanIN

       It is easy to be 19 in HS and not be a looser, just someone who was born too late in the year and had to start at age 6.

      • Redshirting.  Some fathers, who are not aware that school should be about learning and not about sports, and living out their own failed middle aged sports fantasies through their kids, are holding their sons back a  year and starting them in KG at age 6 so that they’ll be a year older than everyone else in high school, and therefore be better on sports teams.

  • ncpride

    Even as I read this article, there are 3, yes THREE high schools in our area that are celebrating a 100% graduation rate. That’s right, 100%. I’ll bet all you AmRen readers can guess why. Yep. I live in rural ‘Crackerville’…..

    •  It goes farther than graduation rates,  what is the quality/quantity of the education received by blacks/mexicans vs. that of “cracker” students?   Todays average black/mexican HS graduate probably has the the equivalent of a 6th grade education.

  • ILOVEMYRACE

    Did you watch the video?   Was that school run down?  Did the students lack books?  Were the teachers uncaring?   Were the students poor?   No!  No!  No!   and No!

    Based on their new, fashionable clothes the students had penty of money.  

    This school is typical of majority-minority schools.   I know, because I’ve visited them.  In fact, some of the worst-performing (i.e., Black & Hispanic) schools receive the most funding, for example, the Washington D.C schools.  

    No, not the schools, the administration, the teachers, the books, nor the lack of money in the pockets of the students is the problem.  The problem is with the low IQ of Africans and New World Indians (=Hispanics).   This is a genetic problem.

    Note that even poorer orphaned Jewish children direct from the German concentration camps, and immigrant Chinese who speak not a word of English can come to the USA and in 20 yrs be physicians, lawyers, professors, scientists, businessmen, and millionares.   But then, again, Jews and Chinese are high IQ races.

    It’s genes, and, unfortunately, you can’t fix genes. 

  • Jay11

    Also every year thousands of white, liberal do-gooders dedicate their lives to these inner city ‘drop-out’ factories.  If the best, brightest and most dedicated cannot turn those schools around, then only superman can, and he is fiction.

  • I just finished watching the whole program, almost two hours.  Needed something to do on the way home from a mini-roadtrip and I wasn’t driving.

    Ordinarily, I would have written it off as stupid and insulting as “Waiting For Superman.”  But “Dropout Nation” is a gold mine for WN/RR/HBD, if you know how to read between the lines.

  • sonya ramirez
  • Some schools in very harsh black countries such as Haiti or Benin did work in the past in a quite fantastic way.  But what Blacks need is most contrary to modern education principles as stated by the liberal establishment.  Whenever they are submitted to an educational regime mid-way between military drill sessions and gospel choir repetitions, they can catch languages very fast in a very correct way, and even classical culture in the same process, and their mathematical ability can also grow from zero to the mediocre level enabling any street merchant to make excellent bargains.  Those schools used to be led by principals, both white and black, who harboured no illusion about race ability equality.  

  • Whirlwinder

    I remember when Sharpstown HS was brand new. What a beautiful campus. I could imagine that all those kids would have a top notch education in a wonderful environment. However, this all white subdivision became infiltrated with blacks and diversity set in and this is what you have. At the time Sharpstown was new, I went to school in poor, rural Cypress-Fairbanks. In my graduating class of 70 people, only one individual did not graduate-me. I flunked my junior year. However, I went on and got a GED, went to university and law school. Most of the kids today could not even come close to achieving this kind of success because, back in the day, we got a real education. The fundamentals I picked up gave me an advantage over the kind of education that kids are getting today. I weep for these kids. They are not getting educated but are bearing the brunt of  a progressive agenda that seeks to make good subjects out of would be citizens of our Republic.