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Education-An Editorial

By , Scotch Plains, NJ
Every hour of a school day, about 857 people drop out of high school. This totals to a student every four seconds. Each state mandates the age that students can drop out of school. For most states, the minimum dropout age is sixteen. Most of these students become part of the nation’s labor force, either out of pure necessity or boredom. All states should change the minimum dropout age to eighteen immediately.

According to a professor at Marist University, the brain is not fully developed until age twenty-five. Educators should make use of that opportunity by teaching students until the age of eighteen. Knowledge should be implemented into the brain while the opportunity lasts. The next generation of children will be smarter than the last, therefore bringing up the United State’s social and economic value. The next generation of children make up the next generation of rulers.

In the United States, the unemployment rate is highest for people between the age of sixteen and nineteen. Teenagers who drop out of school only contribute to this factor. Twenty three and a half percent of teenagers between the ages of sixteen and nineteen are unemployed! If the mandatory age for attending school is increased, the unemployment rate as a whole will plummet. The entire country’s economic value would be higher, therefore increasing the economy. The economy will then increase the available jobs, resulting in an even lower unemployment rate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that the unemployment rate of citizens over twenty-five without a high school diploma was 15.7 percent. For citizens with a high school diploma but no college diploma, a recent number suggests a 4.3 percent unemployment rate. That is a whopping 11.4 percent difference! Those without a high school diploma, even if they are two years away, have a major disadvantage in the jobs market. Plus, if a business was looking to hire someone, most job applicants would be people without a high school diploma. This means that companies have limited choices in highly-educated people.


Some people believe that the cost of raising the dropout rate does is astronomical. They argue that keeping each and every student until eighteen will raise the costs of teachers, janitors, and other staff members. They are unwilling to sacrifice some of their budget to increase the economy. However, keeping students in school will cut down on crime in the streets. Instead of causing crime in town, unruly students would be in school, learning vital life lessons. Raising the school’s dropout age would cut back on crime throughout the town.

According to Scott Lehigh of the Boston Globe, “Nineteen, including Massachusetts, have a dropout age of 16, while another 11 set the bar at 17.” The country is more than half way through in raising the minimum dropout age. This means that most state governments believe in raising the dropout age. The education committee of each state is chosen by the people. Therefore, the education committee will make the best decision for the people. If about half of the nation’s education committees agree, citizens should respect and trust their decision.

Even President Barack Obama would like to increase the dropout age. In his State of Union Address, Obama proclaimed, “"We also know that when students aren't allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma. So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen." President Obama, the leader of the country, believes in a higher dropout rate. The people of the United States have trusted his previous decisions, so should trust his new decision.

Raising the dropout rate in each state would be vital to America’s success. It would allow America to boost its economy, lower its unemployment rate, and even keep crime of the streets. In order to keep America afloat, educators need to raise the dropout rate. Raising the dropout rate is a simple and effective way to improve the next generation of American Rulers. Every state should increase their minimum dropout rate immediately if they have not done so already.




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