Studies imply that more than 80 percent of dropouts would have stayed in school if they believed it was more relevant to real life. Learning how to run a small business can help kids see how their core classes aren't just cruel tortures from adults.
The state of our economy -- with high unemployment, a looming fiscal crisis, a growing skills gap, and sticky ladder of social mobility -- rightfully preoccupies our national dialogue. One solution is clear -- we need to educate our way out of the economic crisis.
Obama's proposal sends an important message to youths and their families: "You are no longer invisible. We see you, we invest in you and we expect you to contribute in a positive way to yourself and to your future."
Many students drop out because of academic failure, behavioral problems, and life issues, but many more students stay in school but drop out in their heads, gradually disengaging from what the schools have to offer.
There are no silver bullets to solve the dropout crisis and blunt instruments often go too far. But when President Obama in his State of the Union address urged states to raise the legal dropout age, we cheered.
There are more than 100,000 school counselors in our middle and high schools. Yet, they are among the least strategically deployed education professionals and are almost entirely missing from our education reform debates.