The story, "10% of young male dropouts imprisoned" Oct. 10, is merely a restatement of the obvious -- "every American pays a cost when a young person leaves school without a diploma" -- $292,000 per drop out, according to their numbers. I think we should reevaluate the perceived value of a diploma.
If our schools continue to push a college-prep education on all students, regardless of desire or ability, there will continue to be dropouts. How much is a college-prep diploma worth to someone who wants (and needs) skills and a job upon reaching the age of majority? We need to explore other options and forget the "one size fits all" education.
When an individual has confidence in their skills and works at something they enjoy, their self esteem grows and they are more likely to complete an education. Let's do the math: According to recent statistics, there are approximately 1.2 million students each year who fail to graduate from high school. This will cost us just over $290,000 each (during their working life). Perhaps we should invest the cost of the class of 2010 in something more productive. I am sure a few billion dollars will give those diplomas value!