Former New Hampshire Governor John Lynch liked to talk about how his administration had overseen a historic decrease in the number of kids who dropped out of public school with a mission to get that number down to zero. Not such an absurd idea when you consider how it is that he managed the ‘reported’ decrease it in the first place.
Lynch and the Democrats simply changed the name and the definition of a “drop out” and stopped counting anyone who dropped out by any other name.
Lynch’s Orwellian lexicographers redefined dropouts as “early-exit non graduates” eliminating the unflattering term. They also created other ‘paths’ to ‘a diploma’ that were not necessarily ‘graduation’ but that would remove your name from the self-esteem crushing drop out list, even though you dropped out of public school to pursue them. And had they been permitted to continue on this path, governor Lynch would have realized his goal of having re-defined drop outs out of existence.
They were still there, there was just no way for the state or the feds to officially report them. This is akin to your lawn-care expert telling you that he has eliminated all your weeds, but all they really did was change their name from “weeds” to “grass.” You’ve still got weeds but we are not allowed to call them that. And we’ve still got dropouts, they are just called early-exit non graduates.
No drop outs are not weeds. They are drop outs. And sometimes they have good reasons for dropping out, and sometimes they go on to be very successful without ever being reclassified to make a governor feel better about himself.
So they left school, but they were no longer dropouts. And the people who like to take credit for solving problems rejoiced at their “success” promoting it to the less-informed hoping most of them would never ask too many questions and just accept that they had solved the drop-out problem.
Except that not everyone appears to be on board with the early exit non-graduate thinking even though we are still following those rules.
A article in the union leader brings to light the absence of resolution, not just today, but in years previous, using unflattering facts to make the point.
Manchester West High School had the highest dropout rate in the state – a four-year cumulative rate of 18 percent in 2012.
Last week, the state Department of Education released dropout rates for the 2011-12 school year. (…) Although the New Hampshire rate went up slightly – the one-year rate for 2012 was 1.26 percent, up from 1.19 percent in 2011 – the state continues to have one of the lowest dropout rates in the country.
“The data contained in this report shows the schools continue to make progress in ensuring more of our young people receive their diploma. (…)
She said it provides clear evidence of the effectiveness of dropout prevention programs put in place when the state raised the dropout age to 18.
If the Manchester city wide average drop out rate is up to 13% from 9% in 2010, what was it really given the various paths plotted by Lynch and his department heads?
One principal says these reported numbers don’t mean anything. That the recent surge it is a one time thing, a product of the change in age and how these ‘students’ are reported, but the age change started in 2010. And the age change was meant to help reduce the drop out rate. You are now saying it has made it go up?
Tricks of the trade
The Democrat majority legislature and governor Lynch raised the drop out age to 18, in part to falsely inflate declining enrollment numbers by clinging to some kids for another year, so they wouldn’t lose as many unions-dues paying teachers, suffer pressure to shrink school budgets, and partly to make the drop out numbers look better. If they made them stay in school it would give them more time to define their exit strategy in a way that would make the drop out numbers look better.
They could leave for work, any accepted college course, take a GED, they may even be able to claim to be completing work from home, or any number of “exit strategies” that lead to what the State Department of Education calls…an early exit non-graduate…someone who is not a drop out.
So how can one Manchester principle blame the age change and declare it a one-off increase when the changes to the reporting have made the drop out rate appear to decline statewide to 1.xx%? They are just rearranging early-exit non-graduates and dropouts who are no longer called dropouts on the deck of their New Hampshire education Titanic, and like any progressive bubble, it’s eventually going to break.
If the economy is to blame, who has been in charge of a majority of the Federal government for going on seven years now? Democrats. Even in New Hampshire, the Democrats have held the corner office for even longer, and the House for five of the last seven years. And the left’s domination of the education industrial complex is pervasive and legion.
So no one should be surprised by the failure of the nanny state to re-engineer drop outs out of existence. Nor are we surprised that they are inclined to blame Republicans, which Nashua Schools Superintendent Mark Conrad manages to squeeze into his remarks for the Union Leader article.