Increasing School Choices and Dropout Prevention

  • Print

March 30, 2012 There's been a lot of news lately in the Fresno area on the ongoing drop out problem occurring locally and of course nationwide. I attended a luncheon where former Assembly Member Juan Arambula who chairs the Fresno Unified School District (FUSD) Graduation Task Force spoke on the group's efforts so far. I'd imagine how difficult it must be to address a problem that has so many factors that lend themselves to that final outcome. They can range from truancy, literacy rates, early childhood education, parent education levels & engagement, drug & alcohol prevention, student & classroom behavior, quality of instruction, student motivation and the list can go on and on and on. We've seen lots of examples of schools that fall on both ends of the spectrum in successfully achieving the goals they set forth for themselves and the families they serve.

Increasing school & education options for students and families must be included in the list of possible solutions & recommendations from groups like this. As we are all different in how we approach learning and developing ourselves, so should the opportunities families have to choose from when deciding on the best education for their children. As we have seen happen in communities throughout the state and throughout the country, positive outcomes are created when multiple quality education options are presented to families with education tailored to the needs and desires of our youth. There never has been, and probably never will be, a silver bullet solution that will solve a complex problem like dropout rates, but for the sake of our children's future, our communities deserve and should demand more high quality education options to choose from.

John Madrid
Regional Director, Central Valley