Scandals, Innovation, and AIG

It is interesting, and also sad, to watch the public fury unfold against the big bailouts, especially the AIG scandals…while an even bigger scandal goes unchecked in our own neighborhoods every day.

What is this scandal?

Author, blogger, & Political Commentator, Keli Goff recently published an article in the Huffington Post describing the costly scandal of the high school dropout. In her article she points out that:

  • A 2008 study found that high school dropouts cost the American public more than $100 million per year.
  • A 2009 study found that one high school dropout in Ohio will cost the state’s taxpayers $200,000 from the time they drop out until they reach age 65.
  • Every 29 seconds another American student becomes a dropout. (How many kids dropped out while you were reading your email today?)

  • Four out of every 10 young adults (age 16-24) lacking a high school diploma received some type of government assistance in 2001.
  • A dropout is more than eight times as likely to be in jail or prison, as a person with at least a high school diploma.

So, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year supporting high school dropouts without batting an eye–but we turn out with protests, signs, and marching, when AIG does something stupid.

Even worse than the high cost of our high school dropouts, is how this situation is contributing to the downfall of the United States as the world leader in Innovation. We are losing our best young minds because our educational system is broken and needs to be totally restructured. Trying to prepare students just to score high on their SAT tests no longer works.

Our educational system needs to teach and encourage young minds how to dream, how to visualize, how to question, how to search…and they need to know it is ok to try something and fail. Unless we start to teach “outside the lines” we will continue to lose brilliant young minds that could make a difference in America’s future.

Of course, we cannot put this entire burden on teachers–we need mentors, sponsors, participating businesses, civic leaders, and the like. When school lets out is not when education stops–life is what happens after classes, and it is up to all of us to make sure every young person in our community learns how to use that time to make the best life.

America is no longer the Innovation leader of the world, and I am afraid if we don’t change the way we educate our young people, we will never regain that role.

Any agreement or disagreement–or, is everyone still too worked up over the bailouts and executive parties?

One thought on “Scandals, Innovation, and AIG”

Leave a Reply