I was shocked when I read a report saying that in 2010, LSD Drop Out rate is more than 25%, higher than Flint and Detroit.
I do understand that sometimes, student is dropping out not necessarily because they hate school but rather because they have other responsibilities to their family (e.g. working, taking care of siblings, etc.). However, I also found out during my research that some students are dropping out because they have poor grades/GPA from the very start.
This is what I propose:
Peer tutoring, if it is done in the right manner, can be one of the most effective tool to close the gap between the 4.0s and the 1.0s, therefore it would be nice for school to set up a tutoring program, where selected students who applied can tutor students who feel they need extra help outside class.
The school must set a requirement for tutors, such as the tutor must have taken the tutee's class, must demonstrate extraordinary work, must get teacher's recommendation, pass a certain test, etc. This way, the school can ensure that these student tutors are well-qualified for it. A special seminar may be required to "train" these student tutors.
The school, especially teachers, should encourage "at-risk" students to apply for a tutor. Teachers must also emphasize that applying for a tutor is not something that's embarrassing. Let's admit it, sometimes we just can't understand the teacher. the teacher him/her self has a very limited after school hours/ contact. So, it would be nice to have an extra help from peers (peer = friend who you can understand better usually).
the tutor and tutee can set up and match their agenda (or school can always has a specific day/hours) to meet and discuss about the lesson.
Transportation-wise, school should provide an extra bus if this is done after school. otherwise, they can go home like usual. Though it may sound costly, I do believe that if school can give transportation to athletes, why not for these students?
the benefit for tutees: The ultimate purpose is so that they will get help with their school lessons
. but there are also good "side-effects" to this like: they can get encouragement, student tips to go through a class, it is also proven by statistics that peer tutoring can increase basic skills in math, reading, and cognitive aspects (see this doc to read all those benefits: http://crossroadsoflearning.com/nta-tutorpalooza/pdf/NTA_Peer_Tutoring_Factsheet_020107.pdf)
benefits for tutor: review old lesson. We also need to remember that re-teaching a lesson to someone else is the best way to "get it". Also, maybe some of those "nerds" will break their shells and have more life and real friends :) by doing this (this includes me), they can also get training that may be helpful, especially for students who are interested to be a teacher, and of course, the most important incentives, the scholarship.
I know that it may sound costly again, but it is one of the best incentive out there for juniors and seniors to actually do help out their peers, rather than sitting at home and feeling the pain of senioritis. The scholarship doesn't have to cover everything, but it should be something significant enough for students.
We really should invest in students because the investment will surely pays-off in the future. We can't afford students to drop out before graduating from HS because most likely the majority of the drop-outs will be working for low-wages, which sometimes, is not the best way to go through life or support a family of 4 . Though this proposal may increase spending, it will surely pays-off when we see the percentage goes down and more and more students are proudly getting their diplomas!