helping dropouts

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)Image via WikipediaBernie Sanders at work:  Support Sanders' Secondary School Re-entry Act | The Forum for Education and Democracy:
"In recognition of the lasting and profound harm being done to our nation by this loss of a generation of young people, the Forum is pleased to offer its appreciation of and support to recent legislation proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sen. Sanders’ bill, the Secondary School Re-Entry Act (one page summary here) urges school communities to have a clear and active role in reengaging these students and providing them with multiple pathways within which they can obtain a diploma. 
A critical element of this bill calls for districts to develop and implement plans for identifying and re-engaging disconnected youth by establish partnerships with community-based organizations, higher education, and other providers, to provide a broad range of options, including services for individuals who may currently be beyond the established age of compulsory school attendance. 
It also requires schools and districts to re-assess the levels and nature of their student support services which have proven alarmingly outdated and inadequate and to the task of helping students and families deal with increasingly complicated circumstances. We urge our friends and collaborating agencies and institutions to join with us in energetic support of Senator Sanders’ Secondary School Re-Entry Act."
Kids drop out because the school doesn't meet their needs.  Schools were not designed to do so.  It is a system designed to weed out: our schools are not designed to support kids.  Kids have been abusively graded and sorted and "helped" and they are often defined as failures.

In the current system, no one really cares about dropouts.  They do care about the money per pupil and Federal and state monies tied to attendance and so the mass educational industry is flexing its police arm to chase truants and reduce dropouts.

Sanders takes a smarter approach and wants to offer services.

And offering services is what schools should be doing all along the way. If we could begin to see our schools as service providers and allow families to access services as they see fit, we could expand service   and move toward a new model of public schooling. The only structural way to ensure that educational schemes do not abuse children is to ensure that families have enough power to choose and select services.

Families will be the surest and strongest advocates for children, if they are allowed to have a voice.  They would drive services and seek to gain credentials that were meaningful.  They will avoid bad teachers.  They will support good teachers, good counselors, good organizers and good mediators.  Families will usually support things ed professionals feel are less important: recess, exercise, food, shop classes, art and many others things.  Families are inherently practical because they see the effects on their kids and know what works in real time.
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