Texas State Senator Florence Sharpiro, chair of the Texas Senate Educate Committee, and San Antonio senator Leticia Van de Putte plan to team together to obtain better legislation for middle school students in the State of Texas with the intention of keeping them (specifically low income students) from dropping out of school at such a young age according to a September 6 San Antonio Express-News article. The effort is aimed to improve reading, writing and math scores as well as other issues such as absenteeism and is aimed to help fix what apparently may become a crisis. Each year, according to the article, the state graduates approximately 100,000 fewer high school seniors than the number who entered as freshmen and by 2040 the problem could be so bad that 3/10 people in the Texas workforce may be lacking a high school diploma.
For one, the movement is positive because it shows that someone is making an effort to try and stem the tide and stop the young generation from veering off course and failing to graduate from high school. Now days, even a simple college degree is usually needed to be competitive in the job market. Without a high school diploma, most people will be relegated to manual labor jobs that pay menial salaries for long and hard hours. During the early teenage years, when hormones start raging and the possibility of drugs and gangs really start becoming prevalent options, it’s important that someone show interest in middle-schooler’s development or else the cycle will continue. And it would only get worse to the point where people lacking a high school diploma or GED becomes a normal occurrence and not more of an anomaly.
Another good reason for this is so that the state can create a better situation for itself in the future. A workforce with fewer highly qualified workers will lead to a situation where manual labor/manufacturing jobs would dominate and skilled labor jobs would decline. This is why it is crucial to make sure students stay on the right path as they enter high school. According to ERICdigest.org, a database of education related articles, 9th grade is the most crucial time of a student’s time in school in regards to dropping out but whether or not they will have been decided in the years before hand. It is explained in this excerpt from an article on the subject:
“Students most likely to drop out before completing the ninth grade are those who have had attendance, discipline, and academic problems in the past, possibly from the beginning of their school careers.”
It’s clear to see that they were teetering in that direction before ultimately falling off once they reached high school. Thus, trying to intervene just before they reach the ninth grade is a great way to combat the phenomena. This is why senator Sharpiro’s efforts are so crucial to Texas’ future.