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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
Whenever Americans have a problem we try to identify someone to blame and then we tell them "We are going to hurt you until you stop displeasing us." Doesn't work, but it's easy and we feel we've done the right thing, we've done "all we can."
Kids are truant and kids drop out (says this former high school teacher with one child currently a sophomore) because they are bored and feel humiliated being in a place they cannot function up to expectations. Why stay where there is nothing happening for you and you feel put down at every turn? How many losing hands does one play before one goes home?
As part of Oregon's general dis-investment in children (and families) over the past thirty years (in so far as there was ever any investment) our lack of commitment to prepare children for high school (or kindergarten, for that matter) is what is at the bottom of this.
This is not the schools' fault--we give them five gallons of water and expect them to put out a ten gallon fire. It's our own Propostion 5 kicker loving fault. (Having the lowest per capita tax rate for state and local government in the West Oregonians somehow feel they are too "over" taxed to provide a decent...I digress.)
When kids are ready to do what a school requires of them they come, they stay, they even go as far as the boundaries our resource investment allows them to go and try to go farther.
Check it out--how many kids who drop out/are truant were on the honor roll last semester/quarter? How many of them are up to date on their high school credits?
We almost always fail to find the real culprit in situations like this, but our applying pain to our scapegoats does always end up hurting that real culprit--which is, of course, us, in the long run.
It's hard enough to keep bored dogs in the yard, you cannot keep bored people anywhere--short of watch towers and barbed wire--where nothing is going on for them and where their only role is to bend the curve to make us think that our "smart" kids are actually smarter than we are willing to pay to make them.
I am Timothy Travis and appreciate the opportunity to say all this.
posted 3 years, 3 months ago
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