Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Dropout Research: Heed Voices of the Underserved

March 28, 2006 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In response to your March 8, 2006, article about Civic Enterprises’ study on dropouts (“H.S. Dropouts Say Lack of Motivation Top Reason to Quit”), I am resisting the urge to say “Well, duh!” to the report’s results.

At the same time, I want to applaud researchers for finally including the voices of students who have been traditionally underserved, disempowered, and removed from our mainstream education system. With over 15 years’ experience working with this student population, I can verify the study’s findings with my own research. It’s about time for society to listen to the concerns and needs of our most-vulnerable youths, and take seriously their suggestions on how to improve secondary education.

Let’s take this a step further and include the voices of teachers who have worked extensively and relentlessly to serve the needs of these students. We must insist that the next round of megamillion-dollar-subsidized research include the voices of adult educators (working in General Educational Development test-preparation and diploma-recovery programs) and alternative-school teachers, who are laboring tirelessly to serve the needs of our young-adult learners. These are the professionals who have listened to the students, taken them seriously all along, and helped them overcome past obstacles to discover success.

Teachers of disenfranchised, marginalized, and educationally neglected youths are the most important “missing voice” from the current research. And they are the ones who could have written that dropout report in their sleep.

Debra L. Yates

Education Department

Albertson College of Idaho

Caldwell, Idaho

A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week as Dropout Research: Heed Voices of the Underserved

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Leadership in Education: Building Collaborative Teams and Driving Innovation
Learn strategies to build strong teams, foster innovation, & drive student success.
Content provided by Follett Learning
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum Principals, Lead Stronger in the New School Year
Join this free virtual event for a deep dive on the skills and motivation you need to put your best foot forward in the new year.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
Navigating Modern Data Protection & Privacy in Education
Explore the modern landscape of data loss prevention in education and learn actionable strategies to protect sensitive data.
Content provided by  Symantec & Carahsoft

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 12, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 29, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 8, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read