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How do you become a drop-out in 3rd grade if education is compulsory until the age of 16, or whatever the age is? I'm having a real hard time imagining a 10 or 11 year old dropping out of school. 3rd grade is nowhere near middle school...I'm a little confused by this statistic.

Tim Fredrick

That's because it should be ninth grade ... I've corrected my error. Oops ...

Dana Huff

Ah, 9th grade. The great American bottleneck. We spend years telling kids when they're in high school, they will be held responsible for their learning, but they don't believe it because, as a whole, we don't do it until then. I remember trying to prepare my 8th graders (when I had them) for the rigors I knew they would face in high school. I got called on the carpet because "my standards were too high." My standards involved doing your work and getting zeroes when you didn't. It was my hope that at least the 100 or so kids on my team might be better prepared for 9th grade. I don't know how well it worked out for them, as I only stayed at the middle school another year before moving on. But I vividly remember teaching 9th graders in the vocational classes at the public high school where I used to work. It was frustrating to see students who were already repeating fail yet again.

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