The Smokescreen Behind No High School Diploma Necessary

The recent announcement, informal though it may be, about the requirement of having a high school diploma may violate the American Disability Act (ADA) is a smokescreen by the EEOC and the current administration for something far more dangerous.

First, when looking at the US workforce and labor pool, who compromise the majority of under educated, under skilled and non-employed workers? According to the US National Center for Education Statics, black and Hispanic young males continue to represent the highest percentage of students dropping out from high school, lacking employable skills and currently not employed. The majority of these young people come from lower income homes.

Second, looking at the school systems with the highest drop out rates many are located in urban cities like New York, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Chicago, etc. Most of these schools are public education institutions, supported by teachers' unions and some have graduation rates of under 50%.

The Indiana State Department of Education reported these graduation rates and consequently these failure rates in 2010 for these school corporations:

  • East Chicago School City, IN, 1 high school had 52% graduation rate or 48% not graduating
  • Gary School, IN, 2 schools had 56.7% graduation rate or 43.3% not graduating
  • Hammond School City, IN, 1 school had 62.6% graduation rate or 38.4% not graduating
  • Indianapolis Public Schools, IN, 1 school had 57.2% graduation rate or 42.8% not graduating

A quick Google search revealed these 2010 graduation rates for other urban school systems:
  • Chicago Public Schools, IL had an overall 55.8% graduation rate or 44.2% not graduating
  • Philadelphia, PA had an overall graduation rare of 71% or 29% not graduating
  • New York City, NY had overall graduation rate of 65.1% or 34.9% not graduating

Just imagine for a moment you were a business with these type of failure rate regarding your products or services? Would you still be in business?

Third, what are the first jobs for many young people? Answer is usually in the food service or hospitality industries. Even though the hourly pay is at minimum wage or above minimum wage, these jobs represent the foundation for future employment.

Fourth, what are the requirements for these entry level jobs? Usually the requirements such as for McDonald's are minimal in that the applicant must be a US citizen or documented alien worker as well as if over 18 years of age a high school diploma.

Fifth, who is hugely responsible for teaching these students? The answer is two-fold: Teachers many of whom belong to teachers’ unions and parents many of whom also did not graduate from high school. Back in 1969, the average national high school graduation rate was 77%. Thirty nine year late in 2008 the rate was 75%. At this time, there were very few teachers' unions.

Looking at expenditures per student these numbers become even more telling. Back in the 1960’s the yearly expenditure was $393 per student. Now some forty years later, the average expenditure per student in 2001 was $7,380 and by 2008 had climbed to $10,297.

Teachers' salaries averaged $8,635 in 1969 and by 2010 reached $55,350. Current estimates are $100,000 to publicly educate each young person K-12.

FACT: More dollars than ever before are being invested in public education with worse results.

Are you beginning to see the real reason behind the informal letter from the EEOC under ADA act? This is all about sanctifying the non-performance of teachers, supporting teachers’ unions, getting the vote of minority citizens many of whom cannot read or write at the sixth grade level and reducing the unemployment rate among these group of citizens.

This is not about discriminating against those with disabilities. And if you think it is then I have a bridge to sell you in the Mojave. Of course with the lack of very expensive public education in this country, some young people might actually buy the bridge because they did not know the Mojave is a desert.

Tags: no high school diploma, high school graduation rates, high school drop out rates, teachers unions, cost of public education, workforce development To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to Conservative Voices. Thanks!

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