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NoDropouts.org

I had the privilege of meeting Matt LaPlante from Nodropouts.org  in Philadelphia.  He sat in one one of the two workshops that I delivered and posted what follows on his website.  It is an excellent website, designed to stop dropouts.  I suggest that you visit.

“The teacher dropout rate in this country is higher than the student dropout rate,” laments Franklin Schargel, author of 162 Keys to School Success. By some estimates as many as 48 percent of teachers won’t survive five years in the classroom, Schargel said.

But it’s not the kids that are driving teachers away, Schargel said.

“The number one reason teachers give for leaving is administration,” said Schargel, who spent 30 years as a teacher, counselor and administrator in New York City. “They’re not getting the support they’ve been told to expect.”

One major reason for that, he said, is that teachers don’t demand to be treated as professionals. For one thing, he said, teachers are given scant credit for what they bring to the educational table.

The best way to tell which students are going to succeed in college, he noted, is to look at which ones succeeded in high school.

“Teachers are the best predictors of success,” Schargel says. “The SAT and ACT are not.”

But when our nation wants to measure how well students have been educated, do we trust the teachers to tell us? “No,” Schargel says, “we give them tests.”

Of course, that’s not going to change anytime soon, but Schargel said that there are many things administrators can do to treat teachers as professionals — from printing business cards to encouraging everyone to hang their credentials on the wall to putting teachers in charge of observing and accessing their colleagues.

And finally, he said, teachers need to be given every opportunity possible to succeed — by changing the culture of schools to resemble a family.

“And families,” he said, “don’t let their members fail.”

Schargel’s website is copyright free — and he encourages visitors to borrow liberally from material posted there.

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