Those are 857 desks on the national mall representing the 857 students who drop out of high school every hour of every single school day. One of our many national embarrassments.
Meanwhile, only one state has raised its dropout age since President Obama called on all states to do so during the State of the Union address. Why? Because it costs too much.
One of the biggest concerns is the cost. If states simply force unwilling students to spend an extra year or two in school, many teens could stay until they are 18 but still leave without a diploma because of poor grades. And extra counseling and remedial courses to help are expensive. [...]
Twenty-nine states let students leave school before they turn 18. Obama urged lawmakers to require them to stay in school until graduation or age 18.
“When students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma,” the president said in the speech.
But since then, only Maryland has approved a plan to raise the dropout age, first to 17 in 2015 and then to 18 in 2017.
(photo via NYTimes)