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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

January 16, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Your voices: Readers on why they would — or wouldn’t — hire a high school droput

Our latest Question of the Week stemmed from Claudia Rowe’s Monday story about a Kent-based dropout re-engagement program called iGrad. We asked: “Would you hire a high school dropout?” and gave readers three options “yes,” “no” or “only if he or she had earned a GED or other equivalency.” We also required respondents to provide a reason for their answers.

Here is a sampling of the responses (some have been edited for length):

Everyone has different abilities and motivations. A high school diploma does not indicate either of these attributes. If an individual shows they can do the required tasks or can be trained to do so, then a diploma is moot.

—Dana Briggs, Kirkland

School is EASY. If they cannot finish school, they won’t make it in the real world.

—Warren Trout, Seattle

If three students who dropped out of school walked in to apply for a job and the only difference was: one still had no GED or high school diploma, one student got their GED and the third re-enrolled and earned their high school diploma through an accredited program (online or at high school) who would you hire?

The one that went back and got the high school diploma because they showed the initiative to go back and stick it out!

The second one hired would be the GED student as they passed five tests that showed they have some overall skills in math, writing, science/history thus being able to pass a basic skills test.

—Richard Krebs, Yakima

Not all dropouts are about the student failing. Sometimes it’s the educators, administrators and parents who do not recognize the student’s strengths or weaknesses in the subject. Sometime the student is very intelligent but bored; other times it is a reading or comprehension issue. It gets down to finding out what the problem is and addressing it for the student to be successful.

I’ve hired many employees who have dropped out and they have been very successful at their job.

—Chris Karr, Edmonds

Dropping out of high school implies that something in a child’s development has gone awry. Whether it be socioeconomic factors, parenting or a simply a poor quality student, something has happened to make the individual less-than-suitable for graduation, and by extension, a job at my business.

Until that individual has shown me that they are ready to take charge of their life (by receiving a GED or equivalent) I am not prepared to take the risk of hiring them.

—Marcus Wayne, Seattle

I am a high school drop out. I’m also a successful attorney. We all take a different path in life. What matters is where you are on that path, not where you were.

—Billie R. Morelli, Concrete

Comments | More in Opinion, Question of the Week, Your voices | Topics: dropouts, igrad, your voices


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