Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Poor Public Education

Presses roll Saturday with our extraordinary cover story -- eighteen-year-old Patricia Chavarria shares her compelling journey, “My second chance at school.” She ditched, had a serious illness and lost hope of graduating until she enrolled at Cesar Chavez Continuation High School in Compton. L.A. Youth editor Mike Fricano met with Patricia and a group of students at the school to hear their personal experiences and what inspired them to graduate.

Overcrowded classes, thousands of displaced teachers, shortage of textbooks and supplies plus a staggering list of all the other ailments in California public schools doesn’t bode well for the future. Parents have every right to enroll their child in a Charter school or jump into the magnet school lottery. For those with funds to spare there are many private school choices or a neighborhood parochial school.

A study by Northeastern University in Boston recently reported that male high school dropouts were 47 times more likely than college graduates to be jailed.

Los Angeles County has one of the highest dropout rates in the country – more than 20 percent of students leave school before graduating.

I was a staunch believer in the public school tradition but I have my doubts they can prepare children for higher education and the job market.

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