11/12 - Confronting Louisiana’s Dropout Dilemma

Confronting Louisiana's Dropout Dilemma

Nearly 15% of students who enter Louisiana high schools drop out, and only 72% graduate on time. How can educators help the state reach its goal of an 80% graduation rate by 2014? What programs are successfully combating the problem and how can they be replicated? Louisiana Public Square brings together Louisiana educators for a special teachers’ forum on the state’s dropout dilemma. Teachers, joined by policymakers and innovators, give their opinions on how to effectively lower the dropout rate in the state. Watch “Confronting Louisiana’s Dropout Dilemma”, airing Wednesday, November 28 at 7p.m. on LPB HD.

Funding for this project was provided the American Graduate Program and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information on the dropout problem in the state, visit http://www.lpb.org/dropout.



Click here to take the online survey

Click here to view the online survey results

Our Panelists:

Dropout Prevention Resources:

“A Future at Risk” – Analysis of Louisiana’s dropout problems and solutions by PAR

Louisiana Dropout Prevention Programs – La Dept. of Ed anti-dropout programs

Educational Resources – Free access to 18,000 + videos via LPB


Louisiana’s Promise – Statewide initiative of Education’s Next Horizon

Diplomas Now! – Dropout prevention project being used in 3 Baton Rouge schools


Choices – Anti-dropout program reaching students across the state through Rotary Club of Louisiana

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We want to know your opinion! Leave your comments in the box below.


The dilemma began long before middle and high school. Considering socioeconomic backgrounds and culture, proven theories of how students learn best are not transitioned from one grade level to the next. The focus is passing a test, not addressing students and their individual needs and rates of development. The big picture has long been overlooked even in the elementary grades. Yes all stakeholders are responsible for educational progress, but “HOW” children learn and grasp concepts, skills and new information is not considered. Its as though Piaget, Vygotsky, Montessori, Gardner and countless others labored in vain. Individual learning styles should not be eradicated as children progress from one grade level to the next, but rather built upon for the good of the child and groups of children. Educators should adapt their teaching to how children learn instead of children having to adapt to how teachers teach. Yes policy plays a role, but accountability should be measured in a different context than what it presently is. Every system needs tweaking and realignment to help it run better. Where are the real lawmakers, administrators and educators that use to go the extra mile to help students and their families? Its all about a dollar and who gets the dollar…

What about the children?
Remember when we were children,
And if not for those who loved us
and who cared enough to show us,
Where would we be today?

After all, ITS NOT ABOUT US, but about the children.

Posted by Veronica M. Buckley  on  11/28  at  09:57 AM

Your program on dropouts was an effective contribution to the dialogue about the severe roadblocks inherent in the Louisiana population.

Although participants were careful not to mention poverty, numerous statistical studies present a direct relationship between achievement and impoverishment. Regrettably, one must conclude that the Louisiana dropout rate will remain high as long as the poverty rate remains high.

Early intervention became a theme in the conversation. Well and good. But poorly paid, poorly housed adults and children are not easily engaged by school programs - even when the students are very young.

Are legislators addressing the bedrock issues facing Louisiana? What good does it do to set a goal of an 80% graduation rate unless you have a realistic program that will advance children - and their struggling parents - in a way that will “find the spark?”

Posted by Robert E Trudeau  on  11/28  at  08:16 PM

As a former substitute teacher in Louisiana Public Schools a few years ago,(last taught in 2009,) my interest was piqued when I received an email about a program presented by La. Public Square on the problems with matriculation in the local school system. When I substitute taught at several different schools in EBR Parish, namely Glenoaks High and Scotlandville High, I took note of several problems. For one thing, many of the educators are themselves not well-educated, and focus mainly on the fact that they are a teacher with nice clothes and a nice briefcase, instead of the fact that they need to read and study the very textbooks that they are yelling and berating the miserable students for not reading and studying. Secondly, I felt an open hostility in the attitudes of many of the teachers and administrators toward myself and many of the students. Lastly, I felt that many of the methods of teaching were confusing and complicated, and took more time to set up than to actually implement.

Posted by Stella Tedeschi  on  12/04  at  10:47 AM

Public Square is on now. We are constantly avoiding the primary problem with education. The problem is with people that continue to have children that they cannot/will not support. Birth control for these families is imperative. It is not a problem with schools or teachers or funding.

Posted by charles mayeux  on  12/04  at  01:20 PM
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