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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

If you were to start from scratch what would you make the dropout age to be?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17698points) February 15th, 2016

Governments can fiddle with the minimum age that one must be before they can drop out of high school and the age that you can be an adult. From that what would you change to your local area? Like a test to become an adult, or dropout age? Or something weird and complicated? Like free school till your 25 (when the brain finishes growing) ?

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5 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

We tried this around 1994. In Roseburg they had a thing where you could totally walk away from school at 16 with some sort of diploma that said “Nice Try”. If you wanted to stay in school they tried to do more vocational training or you could take the path to prepare you for college with traditional classes.

I was a sophomore at the time and thought it was brilliant.. I was a idiot.

Pretty much this plan ended in a massive failure. Kids took the option and bailed and then their parents were like WTF? Nobody will hire these kids. And even if they could find a job it is nearly impossible to legally rent a apartment. This plan lasted less than a year.

Zaku's avatar

First, I’d say that as soon as one can pass the GED, they should be allowed to stop doing high school if that’s what they want. They should probably then get credit for the “tuition” they’re not costing the government. ;-) And maybe be offered that many years of college tuition… maybe they could even then get to go to a prep high school and then get to go to college.

Ideally, though, I’d say education should be available to those who want it and are qualified. I don’t agree with people who think there’s some sort of moral issue that makes it a good reason to charge people a ton of money to do serious study, or to do a lot of work to earn the right to study. Study is work, and probably much more important and useful work than doing some random job (as if that could even earn enough money to pay college tuition these days). And I certainly don’t think it’s a reason to put students in debt and charge them interest for decades… though perhaps if they’re going into a very profitable trade, they could pay it back eventually – say a zero-interest “loan” that is not immune to bankruptcy and only needs to be paid back if and when the person is in a sufficiently abundant tax bracket.

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JLeslie's avatar

I think there should be more availability to fast track through school. Not so much an age, although probably it would wind up being at the youngest around 16, but a student getting sufficient credits to get their diploma. I am not talking about a GED.

Kids who hate school, but who are bright enough to do the work, are more likely to focus and get through if the light at the end of the tunnel is easily visible. Schools do not advise kids well on their options, and schools like keeping kids in school, because that is how the school gets money.

In my day a typical student graduated with many more credit hours than required. There was all sorts of room to play with, but most students never really considered it.

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