College & Workforce Readiness Photos

857 Empty Desks

By Nicole Frugé — June 21, 2012 1 min read
Lisseth Mejia, left, and Manaye Felleke discuss a public installation of 857 empty school desks, representing the number of students nationwide who are dropping out every hour of every school day, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on June 20. "Is this really true," asked Ms. Mejia. "The dropout rate is really shocking."
Much like a classroom, some of the desks are covered in graffiti.
Louisa Mancey engages with the installation as her friend Alicia Hope, not shown, takes a photo. Ms. Hope saw the desks on television and wanted to see them for herself. "It's a good cause," she said. "People don't realize how much dropouts can contribute to society. It's a waste."
Young men wait to for trucks to arrive, so they can begin removing the desks from the National Mall.
The sun sets on the installation.
Aaron Bland takes a break on one of the 857 empty school desks.
Omarae Pena dismantles the installation.

A public installation of 857 empty school desks, representing the number of students nationwide who are dropping out every hour of every school day. The display was set up on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on June 20. The College Board, which puts out the SAT and other standardized tests, says it’s launching a national grassroots effort, beginning with this installation, to tell the candidates vying for the White House, “Don’t Forget Ed.”

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A version of this article first appeared in the Full Frame blog.

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