Dropouts Abandon Urban Schools

, Tony Perkins, Leave a comment

When it comes to education, more parents may consider themselves pro-school-choice after reading the sobering new report about U.S. dropout rates.

The America’s Promise Alliance found that less than half of the students in 17 of the nation’s 50 largest cities graduate from high school. In Detroit, the number of graduates is almost non-existent.

Only 24.9 percent receive their diplomas in the Motor City, followed by 30.5 percent in Indianapolis and 34.1 percent in Cleveland. And the number of “dropout factories” is growing.

In the words of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “When more than one million students a year drop out of high school, it’s more than a problem-it’s a catastrophe.” While the report should serve as an indictment of the public school system, many in the educational establishment refuse to see it for what it is—the greatest justification for real school choice.

In Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley chronicles the success of the charter school movement and refutes the notion that it would be better to “de-emphasize choice” in favor of improving the current system. “The reality,” writes Riley, “is that the former fuels the latter… School choice is clearly making a difference for the better, which justifies expanding it—not abandoning it.”

Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council. This article is excerpted from the Washington Update that he compiles for the FRC.