|Comment Period||Ends 11/5/2008|
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed revisions to the regulations on School Accreditation.
My mother would talk to us about her decision at age sixteen to drop out of school. She was raised by her grandparents and the family had little resources. Her grandfather became ill and resources really became limited. While she loved school there was very little worth placed on education in this small town you were worth more if you were working. So the perception to my sixteen year old mother was that she was poor and poor people get busy and work .
Soon she found out her choices over the next 50 years would be affected by that decision. She was forced to work as a domestic and earned not much over minimum wage for the next 40 years. She wished she had an ally at school that could have helped encourage her to continue. There were none, and there is not a day that goes by that she does not regret that decision!
While there have been some opportunities for a little more pay if she got her GED it still was not the kind of opportunities she swas now busy with life and those opportunities are hard to take advantage of later in life. We do not want this life of regret or mere existance for the children in our community. We want them to realize their full potential. To do this we must aim high and not feel satisfied with sub-standards. While the other alternatives have their place, I believe we should have high expectations and, therefore only standard or advanced diplomas should get full credit, other options should be weighted according to their value to the student after high school.
We must graduate kids and keep them engaged and aware how education effects their future. Graduation rates must be increased for all of Virginia's most vulnerable students, including economically disadvantaged students, students with disabilities or who have limited English proficiency and minority students.
I Hope you increase the target to at least 90 points or adjust the graduation completion index so that it gives schools more points for standard and advance diplomas and fewer points for alternative diplomas and other credentials. We must provide students the tools they need to transition into their community ready to fulfill their greatest potential.
Thank you for your consideration,
Regina Craig, Parent and daughter that broke the cycle!...it can be done.