Harvard University recently released a report that found that fewer than three-fourths of California's high school students graduated with their class in 2002. Even worse, the numbers for the Los Angeles Unified School district were uglier. Less than half the population graduated on time.
When I was in Russia recently, I was amazed to see the number of youth standing on street corners or in doorways smoking and doing nothing. Unemployment is a real issue there. Well, in California, it's obviously no different. I just haven't been looking at the right street corners and doorways.
These kinds of statistics lead to nowhere but crime. During the steroid hearings recently I kept asking the question, "why aren't we going after those who are supplying the juice to these 500,000 high school athletes? Why is this not being talked about?"
Now I can't help but ask, How could this dropout issue get this bad? And how come, to this day, nothing is being done about it? Is it because most of these kids are Latino and African-American students? If Caucasian kids were dropping out in droves would there be an uproar?
What is it going to take to wake "us" up? Why does it take a tsunami, or something of that nature, for people to react, to care?
Why is it that hundreds of millions of dollars can be raised for political campaigns? That tens of millions can be raised overnight for tsumani victims? But we don't flinch when we see that our students aren't getting books, being challenged or excited about learning?