After building and running a simple blog on high school dropouts and advice on passing the GED test I can tell you one thing: it’s depressing.
I think after receiving 4000 visitors to my website from the United States I am clearly seeing trends on high school dropouts on the Internet.
U.S. Map of Visitors to my Online GED Site
I track all of my visitors to my website with a free service from Google named Google Analytics. I can track visitors to my website by state.
I’ve never seen a map showing what U.S. states have the most dropouts searching the Internet for GED (General Equivalency Diploma) help. So this is a first. The darker the green for a state, the more visitors are coming to my website looking for help.
On the map shown above you’ll see very dark green states for New York, Illinois, Texas, and California. That will probably confirm what you already guessed: there are a lot of dropouts in those states searching the Internet for GED help. You’d be right. But there are surprises.
U.S. High School Dropouts on the Internet, by City
Seeing Internet visitors from different cities might be helpful. It’s shown below.
Surprises? Only one Dropout from Detroit, Michigan
In one year of running my website, I’ve had only one visitor from Detroit, Michigan. I can’t tell you if it was a high school dropout, a concerned parent, or an educator. My guess? It was a high school dropout. But even after writing a blog article named Are there any high school dropouts in Detroit, Michigan, I still have had only Internet visitor from Detroit in 11 months of running this blog.
So as best I can tell, even though Detroit has way too many high school dropouts, none of them are looking for help on the Internet.
Surprises? All across Florida high school dropouts are looking for GED help.
How do I know that? States like New York and Illinois are dominated by their urban dropouts looking for help on my website. But Florida is bringing in traffic from all across the state.
Surprises? Not many visitors from the northern states.
I am a little surprised that out of over 4000 visitors, I have had less than 5 visitors from each of the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Vermont. It’s true, those states have smaller populations. Their dropouts haven’t found their way to my website yet. Hopefully the high school dropouts from those states are well served with GED preparation courses in their communities.
High School Dropouts, Maps of Hope
I am naive enough to see opportunity in the maps of high school dropouts visiting my site. They’re not visiting to study research on high school dropouts. They are high school dropouts.
They’re coming to my site to find out information about taking and passing the GED. And that’s a good thing.
If you are a high school dropout on the Internet looking for help, you’ve found a good website to start.
Are you a second generation high school dropout?
Second Generation High School Dropout is a new Phrase
I tried researching the phrase second generation high school dropout on Google and found nothing useful. Educators may have another name for being the child of a high school dropout. I’d like to know how educators describe the 2nd gen dropout situation.
Are you the son or daughter of a dropout?
Please comment on this blog to let me know.
In the U.S., there are 30 million adults over 18 that didn’t graduate from high school. I am the son of high school dropouts from Germany. However, I have a B.A. and an M.B.A. degree.
Common Sense: Children of High School Graduates are more apt to Graduate from High School
That just seems to be common sense.
If you graduated from high school, your children are more apt to graduate.
I would also guess, if you dropped out of high school, your child is more prone to become a dropout.
Advice to Second Generation High School Dropouts
Take and pass the GED test. I can only believe that if you as a parent pass the GED, even in your 30’s or 40’s, your children will follow your example and finish high school or pass the GED test.
Are you looking for a Federal GED Site? The news in this area isn’t good but I’ll give you the best information I can find.
Searching for Federal GED Site on Google
Since you’ve already found this website you probably used Google for your search. Today, February 16, 2011, there was nothing useful on page 1 and 2 of Google for anyone looking for a Federal GED Site.
On page 1 of Google there was a government job posting for a Spanish GED instructor for a prison.
On page 2 of Google there two search results: one was for federal prison inmates who want a GED transcript, the second a warning from a federal agency against websites claiming to give out GEDs online (a valid point).
But nothing useful for someone looking for Federal GED Site.
There’s hope, Visit the American Council on Education
The American Council on Education is the national organization (not part of the federal government) that is the Official Site for the GED Tests. Go to their website for more information at http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ged/index.htm. This is taken from their website.
GED Testing Service, a program of the American Council on Education, develops, delivers and safeguards the GED Tests. Start here for accurate and reliable information about the GED testing program.
ACE also has a web page where you can find a GED Testing Center by zip code. I haven’t verified this website tool for accuracy. But if anyone has an accurate tool for locating GED testing centers by zip code, it would be the American Council on Education.
Just remember, there is no Federal GED Site to my best knowledge. Your best alternative for accurate GED information is directly from the American Council on Education.
There’s more hope, Use this Website to find GED help for your City
I am slowly but surely gathering current GED help for large U.S. cities.
- New York City GED
- Brooklyn GED
- Chicago GED
- Los Angeles GED
- Houston GED
- Dallas GED
- San Antonio GED
- Atlanta GED
- Las Vegas GED
If you’d like my help in researching your large city’s GED help, just leave a comment on this article. In the meantime, don’t waste your time looking for Federal GED Site because there isn’t a website like that on the Internet.
Do the Math: Baby Boomers need to help High School Dropouts
I’ve never seen this written anywhere on the Internet: baby boomers and high school dropouts need each other.
Why? Everyone has heard or read that there are too many baby boomers (retired or retiring soon). For example, when I retire, the U.S. government claims it will pay me approximately $2500 dollars a month for social security. If I live 10 years into retirement (hope so, and more), that’s $250,000. Toss in some Medicare costs and you’re talking easily over $300,000 for ten years of retirement. But I’ve earned it.
Meanwhile, from what I’ve read, one high school dropout will cost society approximately $300,000 over his/her lifetime (too much welfare, poor health, possible incarceration). Sadly, high school dropouts don’t do as well as high school graduates.
A high school dropout faces $10,000 less in income each year than a high school graduate. Visit how much is a GED worth to learn more. In 10 years of my retirement, that high school dropout has lost $100,000 of possible income. How much the government has to spend per year on that dropout for his/her poor health, higher chance of welfare, and higher chance of incarceration costs is unknown (I’m not trying to be mean, these are just the odds).
By my estimate, if I could help just two high school dropouts earn their GEDs, the money I saved the federal government would just about cover my Social Security and Medicare costs (that I have already paid) for 10 years of my retirement. So here’s the challenge: this baby boomer is willing to help two high school dropouts pass their GED.
Thank you for joining the Online GED Site’s email list.
While you’re here, perhaps you can leave a comment for a future blog article.
Chicago, IL USA
Does President Obama care about High School Dropouts?
If you came to this blog article looking for a complaint list or diatribe against President Obama, you won’t find it here. But what you will find is concrete advice for the President on helping high school dropouts. Advice that he can take with a minimal amount of money from the budget.
And of course, the President cares about every American, but he could certainly do more for high school dropouts, with or without Congressional approval.
President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Speech and High School Dropouts
Here’s a quotation from President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union Speech regarding high school dropouts:
Think about it. Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to ninth in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us — as citizens, and as parents — are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.
Nice words but perhaps not concrete enough with practical steps to alleviate the problem.
Being Proactive: Reduce the Dropout Rate
As I wrote earliar, President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are working on the high school dropout problem. Visit this link.
In Pamela Gentry’s article of March 2010 with the title President Tackles National Drop Out Rate she wrote:
The Obama Administration is committing $3.5 billion to help transform low-performing schools; the Department of Education’s School Turnaround Grants would be awarded to support interventions for 5,000 of the worst schools in the nations; and an additional $900 million would go toward School Turnaround Grants to increase the number of schools that can improve.
I haven’t heard much about this effort in the national media. I wish President Obama had briefly mentioned his progress with this endeavor in his 2011 State of the Union speech.
Being Reactive: Three Steps to Help High School Dropouts that won’t cost Billions of Dollars
Certainly, significantly reducing the high school dropout rate in this country would be a wonderful step. But in the meantime, can’t we find a way to help the 7000 teenagers who dropout of high school every day in the U.S.? Can we find a way to help the millions of high school dropouts pass the GED? Here’s a few suggestions.
Let’s Keep Track of Our High School Dropouts, Voluntary but not Mandatory
Statistics and names are kept of people who pass the GED test. So, state by state, we know how many people took the GED test, passed it, or failed it.
But we don’t keep track of high school dropouts.
Many high schools quietly acknowledge this problem of tracking but have no intention of trying to keep statistics. A student drops out of one school but might go to another high school they would argue. Keeping statistics cost money. And quite frankly, if a school system has dropout factories, what incentive do they have of actually keeping track of how bad their schools are statistically?
If you don’t keep track of high school dropouts by name and email (yes, I said email) how can you do outreach for them? If the federal government has a work/GED program in Denver, CO, how can they notify Colorado dropouts of that opportunity if they don’t have emails? Yes, many high school dropouts don’t have email. We’ll take care of that in time. But for now, can’t we keep track of high school dropouts? Here’s how:
Build an email database that can handle thousands to millions of people who want to be notified of opportunities to learn and pass the GED. This isn’t unthinkable. I believe I could do it for $5 million a year. I just checked the Internet and found an email service that will house an email service for 50,000 people for under $200 per month.
If we don’t keep track of our high school dropouts (voluntarily, of course), how will we reach out to them with information on GED programs and opportunities?
Loosen the U.S. Army Entrance Requirements to Include the GED
7000 young people dropout of high school every day. I wonder how many of them (both men and women) think that if jobs are hard to find they can always join the U.S. Army. Too bad they’re wrong.
- The U.S. Army does not want high school dropouts. If you’re still in high school, just visit an Army recruiter and ask them if they’ll enlist you if you drop out of high school. They won’t.
- The U.S. Army really isn’t too interested in GED graduates either. Below is a direct quote from the U.S. Army website regarding enlisting in the U.S. Army with a GED.
The Army is not accepting people with a GED in most areas of the country, however, the Army reserves the right to waive certain disqualifications and allow enlistment if deemed in the best interest of the individual and the service. If you will only need a waiver for the GED, it is highly likely that you will be accepted. Please note that when the Army did accept a GED, they were required to score at least 50 on the ASVAB.
There are some drawbacks to enlisting with a GED, such as not being eligible for bonuses. If you have 15 college credit hours under your belt, you will be eligible for bonuses. Also, upon reaching 30 college semester hours, no waiver is needed for the GED.
In plain English, the U.S. Army will consider accepting you as a recruit if you have a GED and 30 college semester hours. So the U.S. Army doesn’t want high school dropouts and isn’t very interested in recruits with a GED? Why? The U.S. Army wants recruits that are trainable and who will finish their term of enlistment, and beyond. High school dropouts tend to try to drop out of the Army. And high school graduates have a better retention rate than GED recruits. So if you’re the U.S. Army, wouldn’t you want at least a high school graduate.
And the U.S. Army has the easiest recruitment standards so don’t even think of trying to join the Navy, Marines, or Air Force as a high school dropout (or GED).
It’s true, in the U.S. Army, high school graduates have a better retention rate than GED recruits who have a better retention rate than high school dropouts. But President Obama could change some of this.
Yes, it’s true, recruits with a GED are a “mixed bet” as steady recruits completing their term of service. But not even considering someone with a GED for the U.S. Army unless they have 30 college credit hours is excessive. The President can and should relax the recruitment requirements for recruits with a GED. Don’t you agree?
Prohibit Federally Funded Job Programs from Avoiding High School Dropouts
In my blog article Federal Job Programs Discriminate Against Dropouts I described how some organizations avoid recruiting high school dropouts for federal job training programs. This is a quote of mine shown below:
The people who administer federal job training programs in your town or city need to obey federal guidelines for running their program. The people who run local job training programs with federal money want to keep the money coming in, and keep their jobs. So local job training program administrators want to recruit people who will successfully finish job training, get a new job, and keep a new job.
Job training administrators want to keep their jobs, so they would rather not recruit high school dropouts. They prefer high school graduates or better. Tough world, but that’s what I learned today.
The President clearly could influence or control federal funded job programs. Some job training program administrators avoid recruiting high school dropouts because they tend to perform worse than high school graduates in job training programs. It makes sense but it’s not right.
Choosing not to enlist high school dropouts in job training programs because they are educationally weak is like not admitting sick patients to a hospital. It makes no sense at all.
President Obama and High School Dropouts
As an Independent and a Chicagoan, I voted for President Obama in 2008. So this is certainly not a laundry list of complaints to our President. This blog article is just plain, simple advice on getting the job done. If President Obama really cares about high school dropouts, he might consider the concrete proposals in this blog article.
My Parents were High School Dropouts
I just realized that I am the child of dropouts. (Perhaps you are too.)
My mother came to the U.S. in 1936 from Germany at the age of 16. Pretty clearly, she didn’t finish anything approaching a high school degree.
My father came to this country in 1926 at the young age of 20. I never heard him speak of finishing any school in northern Germany.
Mom was a Seamstress
My mother rarely worked outside the home. But she always had a corner of the apartment, and later a room in the basement, where she did seamstress work. Women would come and go to get their clothing altered by Bertha. Mom altered very fancy clothing, sewed, and also steam pressed outfits. She also tailor made fabulous clothing for herself and altered all the hand me down clothes I owned (perhaps the only clothing purchased new for me were blue jeans).
During the 1950’s when I was young, I remember my mother going to the local college to study for her U.S. citizenship and also take courses on sewing. In her own right, she took the initiative to study whatever she needed to learn: on her own or in school.
Dad was a Painter and then a Janitor
My dad was a fantastic house painter. Long before there were mixing machines, my father could mix different colors of paint and match whatever you had on your wall. He also was a terrific athlete. When he purchased his first building at the age of 45, mom said he did a handstand on the banister of our 1st floor porch. It was just before I was born.
Later in life after his first heart attack, he couldn’t work as a commercial painter anymore. He took a job as a painter/janitor for a school system in the Chicago suburbs.
Dad had an amazing ability to perform math in his head. It was startling he was so good. I think I inherited that trait from him. He never went back to school so either he had a high school degree or he didn’t, I don’t know. I do know he had a fantastic memory for statistics and would often correct our local TV sportscasters who botched their recollection of baseball statistics.
What’s my point?
My sister and I never once imagined that we would not finish high school. We finished high school and both earned masters degrees. But both our parents were dropouts.
My parents were high school dropouts but wonderfully intelligent, I only wish I could tell them this since my father died in 1971 and my mom died two years ago.
So here’s hoping that whether you have dropout parents or not, that your parents will encourage you to finish high school and college as my wonderful parents did. You can do it, just one step at a time.
Is it possible that some high school graduates dislike or hate GED test takers? I was really surprised when I found this quote on the Internet.
The high school diploma needs to have more weight than the GED. I stayed in school damnit, and I should get priority when being considered for a job.
Class Warfare: high school graduates versus people with GEDs
I suppose it’s possible. Finding one person raising my awareness about this attitude doesn’t make it true. But is it true?
You are a high school graduate and you have no plans of going to college. In your town there still are jobs that require only a high school degree. But you find yourself competing with people who “only” passed the GED. How does that make you feel?
Well, some people believe they should get priority in a job application with their high school degree over a person with a GED.
I’ve discussed this before. But now I’m learning more about discrimination against people with GEDs
Employers Discriminate against people with GEDs
I have read of cases where employers prefer high school graduates. That’s their right. And unfortunately, we know there’s GED job discrimination.
Some Federal Government Job Programs Discriminate against people with GEDs
I’ve written about this before. Some Federal job programs discriminate against people with GEDs. Rather than accept people with GEDs, some federal job programs purposely exclude GED graduates.
High School Graduates may not be too Friendly
Well, it may not be discrimination. But some high school graduates don’t like competing against people with GEDs. When they become managers in the work place, they may choose not to hire GED graduates.
Do High School Graduates Hate GED Students?
In an economy where there is extreme competition for every job, animosity can grow. I’ve heard college graduates complain about people with masters degrees trying to get their job. Certainly, for the lesser skilled jobs, there is competition between high school graduates and people who passed their GED test. Here’s hoping that high school graduates do not hate people who studies and then passed their GED.
If you are pregnant and thinking of dropping out of high school because of your pregnancy, please read this article. It may help. (It’s short, but I think very helpful.)
Are you pregnant? Is your high school offering you help?
The ACLU believes there is teen pregnancy discrimination. You definitely need to read http://www.aclu-wa.org/blog/teen-pregnancy-discrimination-and-dropout-rate . If your high school is not extending you services because you are pregnant, they may be guilty of discrimination under Title IX, a federal law.
Ever hear of Title IX and discrimination?
It’s the law of the land. Read about Title IX on Wikipedia.
Most people know about Title IX because it meant females were entitled to monies for sports just like their male counterparts. So basically all sports were funded in high schools and colleges, not just sports for men.
But apparently, Title IX also covers discrimination based on someone’s gender (pregnancy) in an educational institution.
Learn More about Teen Pregnancy Discrimination
The American Civil Liberties Union has a helpful article regarding teen pregnancy discrimination. You should read it and protect your rights. Make sure that your high school is in compliance with Title IX in their dealings with you, a pregnant teenager considering dropping out of high school.