Drop Out Rates Drop

John Lynch after being slapped down hard this week by the supreme court for attempting to illegally take money that didn't belong to him in order to cover his party's out of control spending needed something to toot his horn about.  He needed good news.

Out comes the news about High School drop out rates.  According to figures just released this tuesday, the state's drop out rates have declined.

Hip hip hooray, that's good news right?

Not as great as you would think.  Let's not forget that in 2007 Lynch signed law raising the drop out rates to 18.  Kind of hard for a kid to drop out when it's now against the law to do so.

Considering it's now against the law to drop out, where before it wasn't is it really that impressive that we now have a 6.7% drop out rate compared to 9.7% before the law took effect?

The thing to watch isn't going to be a one year look at drop out rates.  No, the real telling statistic will be graduation rates.  Is it really helping anyone to force a 17 year old to stay in school one more year if he simply turns around and drops out at 18 instead of 17 and learns nothing in that year he's forced to stay in school?  All we're accomplishing is wasting thousands of tax dollars on a child who do not wish to be there and refuses to try.

Since the law was just signed in 2007 and didn't take effect until July 2009 the data is not there yet to really see if there are impacts on graduation rates.  That will be the real measure of it's success.