Students Column

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Seven out of 10 high school students want to start their own businesses, a national Gallup survey out last week says.

By comparison, just half the members of the general public shared such entrepreneurial dreams, according to the poll, which also surveyed small-business owners and managers.

The study, conducted earlier this year by the Gallup Organization Inc., was commissioned by the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Inc. at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Mo.

Most of the 602 students polled wanted "to be my own boss." Just 18 percent wanted to "earn lots of money."

But students reported that they knew little about starting their own business. Eighty-six percent rated their knowledge of starting and managing a business to be "fair," "poor," or "very poor." And 85 percent said they were taught little or nothing in school about how business works.

Indeed, the high school students scored just 44 percent correct on a quiz about entrepreneurship and business that was part of the survey.

America's high-achieving students are willing to take high risks--from unprotected sex to driving drunk, a national survey has found.

In the sample of 16- and 17-year-old students earning A or B averages, 21 percent said they had driven a car after drinking, and 35 percent of the sexually active teenagers said they would have sex without a condom.

A total of 3,177 students responded last summer to the 25th Annual Survey of High Achievers conducted by Who's Who Among American High School Students and released last month. Ninety-eight percent of them plan to attend college.

Seventy-eight percent of the scholars admitted to some kind of cheating in school. Seven out of 10 had copied someone else's homework, and 44 percent had cheated on a quiz or test.

Unmarried teenagers who bear children are "morally wrong," and the federal government, schools, communities, and others should unite to spread that message, a report out last week from the Progressive Policy Institute in Washington concludes.

The report urges the federal government to foster networks of homes for teenage welfare mothers, encourage incentives for teenagers to avoid pregnancy, and provide mentors for young people. The institute is a project of the Democratic Leadership Council.

Copies of "Preventable Calamity: Rolling Back Teen Pregnancy" are available for $5 each from the p.p.i., 518 C St., N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002; (202) 547-0001.

--Millicent Lawton

Vol. 14, Issue 14

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