Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Doing with less and getting more

The Great El-ahrairah is back after a two-month absence from blogging due to just being too busy to do anything about it. Hopefully, I'll be able to not drift off like that again, but we shall see.

Anyway, I ran accross this item in the news yesterday about "dropout factories", high schools where less that 60% of the students who start as freshmen actually make it to their senior year. What caught my eye was that the Great State of Utah does not have one high school which could be considered a "dropout factory". The reasons given by the author are that there is little poverty in the state (true) and fewer minorities than most states (I not too sure about this statistic), these being two reasons for students to drop out of high school. However, I feel that the main reason that Utah doesn't have high dropout rates is the influence of the LDS Church. Members of the church are taught that the glory of god is intelligence and since more than half of the residents of the state are members of the LDS Church, being a high school dropout is looked down upon by most of the population. In fact, when I was in high school, if you weren't planning on going to college or joining the military after high school, you were seen as a looser.

This is rather interesting for another reason. The UEA/NEA/teacher's union in the state is always whining and moaning about how Utah ranks last or almost last (usually ahead of Mississippi) when it comes to per student funding for education. However, this never seems to translate into lower SAT scores, etc., but they still do their annual "It's for the children so throw money our way" song-and-dance when the legislature is in session. This little tidbit of information should be sent to the UEA with a big congradulations on a job well done and since you can achieve results like this on what we are already spending on schools, you obviously don't need anymore money other than a pay raise for inflation.