Mandating Two More Years of Vapid Futility?

Quote of the Day for Sunday, December 12th, 2010:

Boston Globe staff writer James Vaznis reporting on the latest round of hand-wringing concerning the performance of urban public school districts in the state:

Within Boston, the state identified 40 percent of eighth-graders at risk of not earning a high school diploma with their classmates in 2014. But that estimate may be low, Boston public school officials said. The district’s graduation-tracking system, which, unlike the state’s, examines several years of data and grades, indicated that just 19 percent of this fall’s ninth-graders were on track academically.

The biggest ticket being advanced to address this predicament? Raising the legal drop-out age from 16 to 18! So saith a “special state commission” in a recommendation commissioned last year, and presently under examination by Gov. Patrick’s office and “key legislators.”

Imagine that! Mandating two more years of vapid futility for kids who, according to this report, have by eighth grade been suspended from school as many as 30 times, and who average – average! – a 25% absence rate.

How can any sane person think that requiring indifferent – if not hostile – teenagers to sit in a public school classroom for two additional years is going to be of any “educational” benefits to the kids in question, or especially to the other kids who actually want to be there to learn something? The only ones who’d benefit from something like this are the liberal social engineers whose workloads and paychecks would be beefed up with additional public expenditures: school teachers, case workers, social workers, probation workers, etc.

Of course, it would also give everyone involved the opportunity to throw their hands up in the air and say:”We did everything we could… we have no idea what went wrong!”