7000 Students drop out of high school every day in New England!! Is that possibly true? I recently took a trip to NYC and on the ride back I passed a billboard with that statistic. I could not believe it, so I looked it up online. In 2012-13, 85% of Massachusetts students graduated from high school. 3.3 million students were expected to graduate in 2013. I was happy to discover that in Massachusetts the number is not nearly as high. An average of 135 students a day or 50, 000 students a year drop out in Massachusetts, which is still a lot of kids.
I think one student is too many. I am thankful that adult education and GED programs exist for older students, but what if those students received the preventive supports they needed before they became so frustrated. I hear stories all the time of children denied service because their grades were okay. I have personally known families’ struggling every day with their child to complete their homework each night, but still not qualifying for services. I have experienced this myself, and I was frustrated trying to get additional reading services for my child who tested above grade level, yet every night struggled to understand the books she read. I even offered to create a program to no avail.
I know as a society we have created a system to help, but students are falling through the crack every day. Oh, and don’t forget the students who graduate but still don’t have the needed skills. I would like to see support services for typically developing students become more normalized. Unfortunately, for typically developing students accepting additional help all too often feels like a punishment, especially to students of color. How can we normalize and provide additional services to typically developing students with learning differences that they are unable to navigate alone?