Now, It’s An Issue?–The Dropout Rate

The Chron had an op-ed on the grim future of Texas given its growing drop-out rate.

As reported by the Chronicle’s Gary Scharrer, demographer Steve Murdock warned nearly a decade ago that unless the dropout issue was successfully confronted, the potential asset of a burgeoning young population could become a lead weight dragging down median incomes and the ability to attract new business enterprises.

That’s right, I guess it’s time to celebrate 10 years since the state’s expert warned us about what was to come.  As far as Chicano/Latino scholars go, they’ve been warning about this for decades longer.

Our current Republican Governor Rick Perry has long held that Texas only has a 10% dropout rate, using fuzzy math to his favor. The reality is that all he has done is shirk his responsibility as an elected official by starving K-12 and higher education programs which would have done much to graduate better prepared high school students, institute a more effective college-going culture, and adequately fund college prep catch-up programs at the university level in order to increase retention and graduation rates.

Bill White seems to get it, and we need leadership at the Capitol which will enact legislation that gets to the root of the problem, rather than playing politics with the future of Texas, as Perry and the Republican-led Legislature has done.

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