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Persons over age 40 cannot imagine a school environment where there are guns, violence, theft, rape, pregnancy, drugs, and parental disinterest.

Sixty percent of the children in school (grades 1 to 12) are being raised by a single parent. That parent may be working two jobs, or may receive welfare or food stamps. Children in welfare homes sometimes feel less need for education because adults around them survive without education.

Superficial news articles sometimes state that schools are to blame for illiteracy because they don’t fail the students who can’t read. They argue that children should be held back until they finally demonstrate that they can read.

However, the primary definition of “children at risk” of dropping out are those children who are one or two years behind the normal grade level. Upon reaching 9th grade, and being two years older than other students, these people are almost guaranteed to drop out. Carried to its conclusion, if a person doesn’t learn to read in grades one to three, that person may never learn to read.

The criteria for predicting potential dropouts is: 1) persons two years older than peers, and 2) persons skipping selected classes more than five days in a row. If children do not learn to write and read in the early grades along with their own age group, they generally become illiterate dropouts by 9th or 10th grade..

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