High Drop Out Rates at Texas Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for www.schoolsk-12com

A Closer Look at Drop Out Rates in Texas Schools 
According to the East Texas Review, every hour 93 students drop out of Texas schools. A majority of these are inner city minority males. Close to one third of all high schoolers in Texas schools will fail to graduate. Statistics like these point to the failure of the No Child Left Behind Act, a one size fits all system that has made preparing for standardized tests the focus of the education system throughout the country.
When asked the reason for their decision to drop out, many students cite “disinterest in classes”.  When excelling in tests is made the sole objective of going to Texas schools, teachers are under increased pressure to deliver perfect scores. You can’t really blame teachers in such a situation if they find it impossible to make the learning experience a fun one. With so much pressure on teachers and students in Texas school districts alike, these increased dropout rates in Texas schools are not just to be accepted, but they also reflect what’s going on in the rest of the country’s schools.  Nationwide, a student drops out every 29 seconds. Texas schools authorities are alarmed at these statistics since they indicate a greater number of children who will slip through the cracks. 
High Drop Out Rates at Texas Schools Are a Drain
Students of Texas schools who choose to drop out have a bleak future to look forward to. This much is a given. With the lack of a basic high school diploma always weighing on them, these students can expect to scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to job opportunities.  Not only are their own economic prospects hindered, but they also prove to be a drain on the local economy.  The Dallas based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says that in 2007 alone the number of high schools dropouts from Texas schools will costs the state 377 million dollars. Not only that, these students will continue to cost the state’s coffers the same amount over the entire course of their lifetimes.
Choice Could Lead to Lower Dropout Rates in Texas Schools
According to a study conducted by the NCPA the introduction of school choice could lead to a decrease in dropouts which could result in a savings of savings of at least $53 million in taxpayer money to support dropouts.  The one size fits all model that NCLB exemplifies doesn’t have too many takers in Texas schools; many insist that school choice could help establish schools that cater to specific populations.  The biggest argument in favor of school choice comes from the Texas schools themselves that seem to fear that students will move en masse to other schools if school choice is an option. When the schools themselves have such a poor opinion of their own ability to retain the best students, why should students think differently?