Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama says "no" to dropping out

In his first State of the Union Address President Obama said
We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation...

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day they are born to the day they begin a career...

And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. "
Before we let Obama beat us down because we're too lazy to finish school, we should all understand that the very definition of "dropout" is controversial. Do all of the "industrialized nations" he puts ahead of us calculate the dropout rate the same way? I doubt it.

Even within the United States, calculating who is a dropout can vary from state to state. In Texas a student whol leaves high school to study cosmetology or to join the military is considered a dropout. Or worse, Kimberly Marciniak, a 2006 Texas high school student was considered a dropout despite a "stellar" academic career simply because she refused to take the TAKS state exam.

However, Obama's push for national education standards could eliminate our freedom to decide our own course in life and easily make a standard like Texas the norm from sea to shining sea.

So a student who does not fit the state's defined path from the day they are born until they begin their career may be considered a dropout; to Obama, this is just not an option because the country needs and values every American.

And just where does this leave homeschooling? Obama said,
"It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it."
Go ahead and call my children dropouts or question our patriotism President Obama but our children will never participate in this socialist scheme of state indoctrination and dependency.

More than a diploma, this country still needs Americans who understand and value freedom.

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