Issue 91 - 03 | From Dropouts to Fully Functioning Adults: What’s Missing in Our Efforts to Fix America’s Public Educational System

By Steve Rothschild
Published Feb. 22, 2012 11:00 a.m.
“Young people pay a high price for not graduating high school. Drop-outs earn substantially less than their friends who have diplomas—when they’re employed. The recession is tougher on them: their unemployment rates are higher than the rest of the population. Their risk of going to jail is higher, too.

The rest of America also pays a high price for this awful situation: in lost talent, in lost taxes, the costs of social services we provide, and the costs of dealing with crime.

And we can’t even say that the whole world is in the same boat. We rank 8th from the bottom in a comparison of high school graduation rates among the 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

But we don’t have to accept this travesty. We can teach young people the attitudes and skills they need to succeed in school and in life. And we can make it worthwhile for schools make the effort.”

About Steve Rothschild | Steve Rothschild is the founder and board chair of Twin Cities RISE! He was also its CEO for its first nine years. He founded Invest in Outcomes, which developed the human capital performance bond, a new financial instrument to fund nonprofits. He launched Yoplait yogurt in the United States, was the company’s first president, and later became executive vice president of General Mills. Twin Cities RISE!, an anti-poverty program for low-income adults living in generational poverty, trains under- and unemployed adults for jobs and connects them with employers who pay a living wage.
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