MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

May 28, 2013

Solution to dropout rate starts at home

It’s common knowledge that Muskogee Public Schools have a problem with dropouts.

But the fault with the problem should not delivered at door of the the BEST Center.

Any problem with dropout rates in the district begins at the student’s home.

One out of 18 MPS students who entered high school here as a freshman will drop out before they reach graduation.

That is one of the worst rates in the area.

There are legitimate reasons for the high rate.

MPS has a high poverty rate as witnessed by the 80 percent of students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches.

Poverty is not the sole problem, but definitely part of the problem.

Many students who drop out have transferred from school district to school district. By the time they reach MPS some of those students are just dropouts waiting to happen.

The district is working to improve that rate. And it has improved.

But MPS administrators, staff and teachers are powerless to make a significant dent in the problem if the parents are not engaged with their children’s education.

If education is important at home, the child is much more likely to succeed at school.

The district is looking at everything possible to improve the rate. The district has targeted additional intervention counselors to help the students.

That takes money.

Character education helps. Teachers who care about their students help, too.

MPS has a problem.

But the problem starts at home.

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