Legislation would keep Wyoming kids in school until age 18

2013-01-17T20:15:00Z 2013-01-17T21:04:13Z Legislation would keep Wyoming kids in school until age 18By the Star-Tribune staff Casper Star-Tribune Online
January 17, 2013 8:15 pm  • 

CHEYENNE — Legislation requiring Wyoming high school students to stay in school until they graduate or hit their 18th birthday received a preliminary nod in the state Senate on Thursday.

Senate File 96, sponsored by Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, moved ahead on a voice vote.

It comes up for second reading in the Senate on Friday.

Current law allows students to quit school at age 16.

Supporters claim that students who know they must stay in school until they are 18 are more likely to graduate and to perform better in the future.

Opponents say that keeping students in school when they don’t want to be there and are totally disengaged is a waste of time and money.

The legislation would go into effect July 1 if it passes.

About 20 states and the District of Columbia currently require students to stay in school until they graduate or reach their 18th birthday. Another 11 states mandate schooling until age 17. The rest allow students to drop out at 16.

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(3) Comments

  1. Cowboy Joe
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    Cowboy Joe - January 18, 2013 9:58 am
    This law is moronic. A good friend of mine student taught in the DC public schools. She had 17-18 year old boys with no credit to their name sitting in the back of freshman English making it hell on all parties present. This is a feel good law with really bad unintended consequences. By 15-16 you know if kids are going to make it or not, forcing them to be present to ruin everyone else's experience and opportunity is not the way to fix it---early intrevention gets a lot more bang for your buck versus turning high schools into prisons.
  2. WyoJeff
    Report Abuse
    WyoJeff - January 18, 2013 8:00 am
    I know of a student that comes to school only to sleep under a table. But due to his past violent history with teachers in school, we must keep two teachers in the room at all times. The good days are when we pay 2 teachers to teach one class. the bad days are when that student decides to make trouble, disrupts and totally derails the class. On those days we get to pay two teachers and the class does not get to learn anything. Please tell me how the cheap seats see anyone benefiting. I remember back in the day when bad behavior was not tolerated. Bad kids were given back to the parents until they could behave. We actual had a majority of students that learned. I remember when almost all students graduated high school.

    Also stop and think about when you got excited about school. for almost everyone I know they got excited because they made a connection with a teacher at some point. It had nothing to due with being able to read. For myself, I had several great teachers that made extra effort to connect with their class. I had a music teacher that let the kids pick the music they wanted to sing. We were not forced to sing songs that our grandparents sang when they were in school. I had science teachers that showed how our experiments effected our daily lives. We even brought guns to school, went out to the teachers ranch and measured the drop of the billets at different distances.

    I also had teachers that could care less.

    I say the teacher makes the biggest difference in any students life. Lets face it almost anyone could teach a second grade class, but the person that can connect with the kids will have the class that learns the most.
  3. bane of trout
    Report Abuse
    bane of trout - January 18, 2013 6:53 am
    "Opponents say that keeping students in school when they don’t want to be there and are totally disengaged is a waste of time and money."

    Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats?

    It's not legislators, students, or parents who get punished by NCLB for graduation rates; it's school districts. Further, it costs taxpayers more to deal with dropouts than graduates. Broadly speaking, dropouts wind up in jail and social services at higher rates than graduates.

    If we're serious about education reform, we must fold students and parents into the solutions instead of just blasting teachers and schools. Yes, the curriculum and instruction should be engaging, and in my experience, 95% of my students are reasonably engaged on a daily basis. But some students will still find a way to resent and resist everything I do. At some point, we all need to start thinking about why some high school students are excited by the prospect of reading and learning, and why some are not. I suspect early education, specifically reading, has a lot to do with it.
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