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Majority of Students Drop Out of One LA High School

LA's Jefferson Senior High School, which boasts Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ralph Bunche as an alum, also has the nation's second highest drop-out rate. Six in 10 students at Jefferson drop out. A perfect storm of factors unfriendly to education makes Jefferson a problem school.

Many of students come from transient families who have just immigrated from Mexico or Central America. Over 90 percent qualify for the school lunch program, and 45 percent are still learning English. Tons of students do not live with their parents and work to support themselves.

American inner-city schools in general get a failing grade, too — 50 percent of students at inner-city schools nation-wide do not get their diplomas. To find out how the LA school district tries to address the bleak situation,


The LA school district launched a pricey marketing campaign last year to convince youth that school is cool. The school district stressed the message that high school graduates can earn $175 more per week than dropouts using commercials on hip-hop radio stations, text messages, a MySpace website, and YouTube videos. Taking a less hip approach, Jefferson also puts its ninth-graders through a week of conflict resolution and peer mediation training. Do you have any other ideas to offer this troubled school?


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hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Also, economy is not an opinion, it's a fact. You suggested I enroll in some Sociology -- why don't you do some dappling in Economics? Maybe take a course on Logic while you're at it.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
As of today: USD $1.00 = CAD $1.0517 They're not the same, but they're not that different either.
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
US and Canadian dollars are not the same! Your opinion of what would happen if there were no Mexicans/illegals is still an opinion. I will answer undave privately, and anyone else who wants to inquire may do so or their own research.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
how did we get from not tolerating racism to thinking it's cute? Nice job dancing around the points in my post though. I wouldn't "bless" a mexican for working low-wage jobs -- they're the ones keeping the wages so low, which hurts Americans! If there were no illegal immigrants working for whatever they could get, the wages in the USA would have to increase to be competitive and entice LEGAL employees. Currently the McDonald's by my house is hiring at $10.50/hr -- what's yours at? We don't have waves illegals willing to fill any open position in the economy, so generally the low-wage jobs go to teenagers or lifers (people that don't have the skills for more demanding jobs, but aren't useless either). Positions in construction and labor are by far the highest paying entry-level positions here, but the same is not true in the USA, because why pay a legal citizen $20/hr when you can get a mexican to do it for $8/hr (or less)?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
"Your perpetual racism is as cute as your picture." WTF?? "U.S. had more casualties building itself than did Hitler vs the Jewish. It's ill math. If your frame of mind is such, than you equate to the perpetuation of murder, thievery and lies in the name of $$." I have no idea how you come to this conclusion. Please support this claim with some facts.
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
The vast majority of workers in low wage jobs are Mexican and bless them for their hard work that keeps businesses thriving. The prison industrial complex is a business that makes 4 times the money than do schools. Maybe that's why schools suck. They would rather fund a project that makes more money(prison industrial complexes) than give funding to a project that will work preventively(schools). Your perpetual racism is as cute as your picture. U.S. had more casualties building itself than did Hitler vs the Jewish. It's ill math. If your frame of mind is such, than you equate to the perpetuation of murder, thievery and lies in the name of $$.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
It doesn't matter if you don't tolerate racism -- that's hardly inspiration for me to stop lumping Mexicans & Native Americans into the stereotypes they've built up for themselves. Your feelings don't matter, only facts do, and the fact of the matter is that if you sneak into a country illegally, you are not entitled to the benefits of living there as a citizen, because you are a CRIMINAL. You think the welfare office is full of people raking in a 250K a year? Sure, maybe there's one or two in there, but the majority of the welfare group is made up of teen mothers, the unemployed, the "disabled", and various other people that think sitting at home is a better use of their time than money. I currently DO NOT live in the USA (and thank god, it seems to be getting worse by the day there the way the economy is imploding in on itself), so you won't be shipping me back to Canada any time soon. I left by my own accord, because I prefer it here to the states. It's cleaner, quieter, and there's no Mexicans. Well, there are a few, but they speak english and *gasp* WORK. So how many Mexican immigrants make up the prison population in the USA? How many finish highschool? What about college? Isn't California something like 60% hispanic? Bet that number doesn't match the prison population & university graduates. As for studying sociology, I don't think I'll have to suffer through that class until senior year. As for now, poverty is not a tool to be racist -- I don't respect poor white people either, it's not a race thing.
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
Back to the topic's question, the community's messed up and funding for the community activists has been called for by the volunteering activists. Since they have already proven that their leadership and role modeling has influenced many kids from joining gang activity, they seek help or donations to continue contributing to their communities. More role models in local communities that are effected by poverty!
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
whoops typo..I think you'll understand without correction anyway.
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
You are generalizing, stereotyping and not looking at the history as being relevant hithatsmybike . Still no mention of the North American Union, it will be in place soon, no more borders and eventually no more constitution. I understand this is a different subject. Next time maybe. In legal terms, UnDave35 is right to reference immigrants vs. illegal immigrants. My reference is according to history. I will try to stick to law or mention when I am not as much as possible if it will be less confusing to convey my point. hithatsmybike two things, first, you have obviously never been to a welfare office, but currently there are people in there that were making a quarter of million a year, and now they need help to keep their lights on. That is not a result of illegal immigrants but it might be because of poor education or war. Two) the ignorance in your last statement is too general and doesn't really support anything ethical. By that last statement you should be shipped off to Canada right? (you still never stated your ethnicity not like I care)Should we send black people back to Africa and say thanks for building this country but the US made a mistake in treating you like humans? What I really think you mean is not the above paragraph exactly, but I think you really believe that Native Americans and Mexicans make this place worse because they are going to our schools requiring teachers to work harder and care. That is a huge burden to America right? The under paid teachers and this school funding thing is so much worse of a cost to the US (not America, the US) than is war. Everywhere is war... I am not going to make you open your eyes at all I can see. NAFTA is alright with you too, and our ties with Mexico and how much money we make from the stolen natural resources, the cheap labor as if we don't add and endorse the poor conditions of the country don't matter according to you. You don't mind riding on the backs of the poor and you think somehow they are riding on yours. Many here have already admitted they know what goes on and no one has called them "the scum the scuttles across the border" WTF? Where do you think your Vitamin Water comes from while they only turn on tap water once a week in Mexico city and many there are dying as a result of your consumption. I mean it when I say you can look up recent history and see how tied we are to the current conditions and problems of those people. There are many who speak English, learn English and want to learn English, read and finish college but you don't think their high schools should be good enough to prepare them for college. Hispanic people hold their culture to them dearly and it should be allowed since this used to be their land 150 years ago. Oddly enough, Spanish/espanol is not the indigenous language, it is a result of being enslaved by the Spaniards and having their tribes slaughtered prior to the US conquering them. Thank God the majority under this blog agreed there should be better education somehow. We should hold our States and Congress responsible and accountable for the school budget, the unequal spending in different districts and the wrong doing that goes on. I do not tolerate racism! Study sociology before you use poverty as a tool to be racist.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
MD Free, you are making too much of a stretch with native americans being the only "true" americans and everyone else is immigrants. Even if that were the case, there's still a big distinction between those that are legal citizens of a country, by birth OR immigration, and those that enter illegally, live illegally, work illegally, which allows even further illegal activity like avoiding paying taxes. I was born in Canada, and I hold citizenship to this country by my birth. This doesn't make me an immigrant. Where did I immigrate from? I was raised in this country, I work in this country, I pay taxes in this country, and therefore, it is mine. I held a green card for the USA when I lived there. I was a legal immigrant, but I refused to apply for citizenship (they no longer allow dual citizenship, so it would mean surrendering my Canadian citizenship). In any case, I lived & worked there LEGALLY, which is more than I can say for many Mexicans. The Mexicans are not even prepared to function in the society they've escaped too. We all know Mexico is a shithole outside the tourist resorts, but even so, I don't have sympathy for the scum the scuttles across the border with not a word of English and no intention to improve themselves and the country by being there. Sure, most of them are seeking a "better life" -- but their idea of a better life is NOT a college degree and good paying job, it's a free ride on social assistance. As for "human rights", there's no such thing as universal basic human rights. If the USA offers more "human rights" than Mexico, it's because it's a better country to live in and those are the benefits to the citizens thereof. A Mexican is NOT entitled to the perks of being a US citizen simply because they are human too. The USA flourished by its government, people, and resources. Mexico does not deserve a piece of the pie simply for being a next door neighbor. I have no problem with immigrants seeking to obtain a better life through educating themselves and working in the country that provides them great opportunity. I live in Canada, where a number of different cultures are represented. At my university, the white population is equally met, if not exceeded by immigrants, or the children of immigrants, from Japan, China, Korea, India, Greece, Turkey and various African countries. You know what they're doing? Working Canadian jobs, going to university, improving themselves and their families, and ultimately contributing the success & prosperity of the country. Know whose collecting welfare? Your friends the ever non-immigrants, the Native Americans. The US made the mistake of declaring every human being born on US soil, air-space or water an American citizen, and now the country is paying for it.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Crap...totally my fault, Dave. I read that as "Immigrants come into a country illegally." :oops: I totally misunderstood you, and I apologize. I'm off to bang my head on the keyboard for a while now. :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm not sure what you're asking Jude. I was meaning that Immigrants come into this country through the process set up by this country. They don't sneak through under the fence in the dead of night.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Immigrants come into a country legally.
You mean illegal immigrants, right, Dave? ;) Because if so, I do agree with you absolutely.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Being born in America, of American parents means you should be entitled to American rights in America. Being born of Illegal Aliens means you do not. Please stop referring to this group of people as immigrants, they are not. Immigrants come into a country legally. They have failed to do so, and as such, do not deserve immigrant status.
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
My video is from CNN. The Oprah talk is not in reference to CNN. I just find it funny that the people who complain about those who are uneducated illegals are ignoring that they are indigenous to this land, being born somewhere doesn't entitle you to more human rights. Seems keeping them illegal furthers the brutality of the Mexican war. If your family members were immigrants, at some point, chances are people called them names and told them to go back to their origins too. Just as the people who taunted your family when they migrated, the ignorance is perpetuated.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
MD I skipped the video given that it was from Oprah.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
MD - She is not "illegal" because her parents immigrated here legally, she is not an immigrant, because she was born here. Bella - Everything depends on money and financing. If one school doesn't fund those programs, that's their problem. Why are those programs not being provided? Probably lack of funding. Why is there a lack of funding? You've got to pay the teachers to teach those courses, and if you can't afford to pay the teachers because funding shortfalls, then where do you get the money?
MD-Free MD-Free 8 years
Looks like most of you are seeing the same problems and asking the right questions. The thing is that no one is finding the right answer and if I spell it out, you won't except it. I will spell it out anyway, the government wants you to be not too educated so no one questions there activities. The video I put is finally up and no one is questioning that!!!!! Looks like they did a good job of making you not think critically. hithatsmybike: You are not an illegal because you were born here and then they are not illegals because they were born here. Your own logic is your demise. How exactly did you migrate here is the question? You are and immigrant but indeed many people that are Mexican the so called "immigrants" ancestors stood on this land entitled to natural resources of the land before your ancestors did! Let us also recognize that there are many benefits to the US having low wage earners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In the words of Haile Selassie I “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war and until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained... now everywhere is war.”
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
unDave, are you saying having competive curriculum that helps a student flourish in college and able to go to college and actually get in – that should depend on money? Or is your statement in reference to the swimming pool.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Why is it that Harper is "underfunded"? I'm not sure we are getting the whole story. Is it because the property tax dollars aren't being channeled to the school system? Is it because there aren't enough people who are actually paying property/other taxes to be able to afford those extras?
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Thanks RockAndRepublic - I also saw that episode. It was scary but I guess some people don't care b/c its not their kids or love ones. They can continue to make assumptions of "these" people and there motivations. Thus continuing the divide.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
If some of you watch Oprah, you'll recall an episode that i believe included bill gates and the subject was underfunding in schools. It was called, "Failing Grade".
When they arrived at Harper, the students from Neuqua Valley were shocked immediately by the difference between Harper and their own school. For starters, students have to enter Harper through a metal detector. They have a pool at Neuqua Valley, but the Harper pool hasn't been filled with water in a decade. The Neuqua Valley students have an award-winning music department, while Harper doesn't have enough instruments for a music class and relies on improvised instruments—like banging on desks. At Neuqua Valley, students can enroll in more than two dozen advanced placement courses, compared to the two offered at Harper. "It's so mind-blowing to think that there's such a difference and we're both in the same state, an hour away from each other," one Neuqua Valley student says. After sitting in on a math class at the suburban school, a Harper student was particularly worried about what her Harper education was actually teaching her. "I was looking at the math problems that they're doing [at Neuqua Valley], and I'm like, 'What language is that?'" she says. "As soon as I get to college, I'm going to be lost." Now, why are 2 schools in the same state getting different treatment? Hithatsmybike, MD probably resisted the uninviting tone of your post.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
ok I don't have time to read the rest of the comments at the moment because I'm just about to run out the door for work.. MD, I am not Native -- but I'm not an "immigrant" either. Know why? BECAUSE I WAS BORN HERE. Maybe you didn't learn this in school yourself, but in most countries, if you are born within their borders, you receive citizenship. This is one of the methods your illegals use to grab US citizenship -- waddle over the border and pop a kid, yay! a way to a green card! Newborn babies are NOT landed immigrants. As for the school system, I'm not surprised by the US rankings. Education has never been a priority for America -- this is evident by the shady business of online universities and "equivalent" diplomas like the GED (which isn't even accepted at the schools here in Canada). And there's no consistency across the board. Brilliant minds graduate from US highschools and go on to be incredible researchers, scientists, doctors whatever -- meanwhile others graduate and, like many of you said, can't read beyond a elementary school level. I never attended highschool in the US, so I don't know how they do things, but I think a standardized exam for graduation would be helpful. In Canada there's a government exam for every subject that you take and it's often worth half of your final grade in that class. It's one of the easier ways to make sure the standards are consistent at every school, and pinpoint which schools are failing to teach their students enough math/english/whatever.
amybdk amybdk 8 years
we pay ONE salary to help other countries' citizens... give them incentive to stay put = less immigration?
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