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Chapter 7 – Core Courses | Dropouts 101

Chapter 7 – Core Courses

It seems counterintuitive that dropouts would take more rigorous core courses than graduates their freshmen year of school. One would think that, if children are in danger of dropping out of school, educators would make attempts to help these youth by offering classes they would like and be successful at as opposed to “throwing the book” at them, so to speak, by making them take rigorous courses to “remediate” them, “get them up to speed”, or get them “back on track.” What would make educators think, given historical academic and behavioral pathways of dropouts, that these children will suddenly get it together and perform acceptably? Nothing about the entire academic history of those children who eventually drop out suggests such this approach would yield positive outcomes.

We make students on the dropout pathway take more and more rigorous and demanding courses. Because children in 8th grade on the path of dropping out of school are so far behind, educators and, sometimes, parents place these youth in rigorous and demanding core courses to help “remediate” them, “get them up to speed,” and get them “back on track” for meeting demands of future required courses and state exit exams they need to pass to graduate from high school.