Internationally, we face the challenge in delivering effective education that will prepare our youth for their careers. Within Marion County, there is a high (above 40%) dropout rate from eighth grade to high school and beyond. As of 2013, less than 20% of youth entering eighth grade will successfully complete a two or four year post high school study program. Those that are successful often leave the community for career success elsewhere, whether in a large county or abroad. Consequently, the emerging workforce continues to be less competitive globally, and we continue to slip away from becoming a sustainable community.
The focus in high school on academic success doesn’t motivate students to explore their interests, passions and aptitudes. Students do not look towards specific post high school education and training options. A weak economy means less investment in education and fewer after school activities. Often, this leads to the conclusion that the opportunity for a high school student to get a part time minimum wage job has been taken by a displaced adult worker.