In California, more than 20 percent of high school students drop out before graduating. In the City of Oakland, almost 40 percent don’t graduate.
During KQED’s American Graduate town hall on March 13, teachers, education advocates and students gathered to discuss the problem facing education and possible solutions to the problem.
Check out a Storify of highlights of the Town Hall, by KQED’s Ian Hill, after the jump.
By the end of that month, March, 1985, I got my GED. I remember the woman who administered the test actually asking me as I turned in my last form, “How did you fall through the cracks?”
I would love to ask that nice woman now, “How do any of us fall through the cracks?”” —
At 18, Karen Leslie Hernandez ran away from home, joined the Carnival, tried to go back to high school only to drop out.
“We challenged them to go beyond the usual complaints. We asked them to name all the assets in the community we could deploy to support the goal of more graduates.”
It’s less than two minutes, but the honest and raw exchange resonates when a teacher asks his former student what he could have done to prevent him from dropping out.
Q: When did you know you weren’t going to graduate? Like for sure?
A: Ever since I started 9th grade…There’s a certain amount of knowledge you have to have when you enter in a specific grade. And I didn’t have it.
StoryCorps audio here; transcript after the jump.