Erwin High: 'dropout factory'

Erwin High: 'dropout factory'

There are 300 comments on the Asheville Citizen-Times story from Oct 29, 2007, titled Erwin High: 'dropout factory'. In it, Asheville Citizen-Times reports that:

It's a nickname no principal could be proud of: "Dropout Factory," a high school where no more than 60 percent of the students who start as freshmen make it to their senior year.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Asheville Citizen-Times.

Ramjet

United States

#23 Oct 30, 2007
Last year Erwin was the ONLY school to make both ABC and NCLB progress in Buncombe County. Where was that Banner Headline?? Don't look for it, its not there. Where was the story about how Erwin's free and reduced lunch has gone from 20% of students to over 50% of students in last 5 years? That is the highest in Buncombe County by the way. Where was the high school challenges of having the highest ESL population? Where is the headline that Last year Erwin on its own, by the way, started a 9th grade academy to help the students you talked about? Where is the reporting on how many of those who dropped out transferred to another school, took advantage of the Middle College concept or received their GED? Did you know that Erwin leads the way for more students ALLOWED to transfer to other schools? More so than any other school in Buncombe County. Where is the reporting in the article about the parent's role in all this?
Ramjet

United States

#24 Oct 30, 2007
Angry Parent wrote:
How much has the school district invested in new sports facilities at Erwin in the last few years?
Meanwhile, Buncombe County schools that do an awesome, proven job of educating children such as Glen Arden Elementary get the short end of the stick on facility improvements every year.
We have our priorities so screwed up.
Erwin got no more or less than any other school in Buncombe County. Glen Arden has every opportunity to get the same facility dollars as any school. Talk to your principal. The facility dollars are different monies from school teaching monies anyway!
bandit

Asheville, NC

#25 Oct 30, 2007
Concerned Parent wrote:
To those students that are currently attending Erwin High, the Asheville Citizen-Times owes an apology. This is a pathetic headline story, you should be ashamed!
I agree with you on that,that put the headline in that Erwin is a DROP OUT FACTORY, for all to see this does nothing but ruin the students self esteem.I have 2 kids there and they work hard to get the grades they get,maybe the parents and community that want to whine should get involved at the school instead of bashing it.
IMOKRU

United States

#26 Oct 30, 2007
Read the comments of Concerned Educator and I rest my case. They feel schools are there to fix societal problems, but not one word about teaching kids how to read and write. The bloated public school bureaucracy has circled the wagons since it's impossible to defend a system that continues to fail miserably especially for a segment of society that needs it the most. They fight parents and students who desire to go elsewhere with the tax money allocated for their education.

If people could vote with their feet most public schools would close their doors. Competition is what they fear because the market place doesn't tolerate fools and failure for long. For the past 40-50 years the public school system has failed and will continue to fail even if we were to spend a Harvard University tuition for kindergarden. When does it end? Who is accountable? Why do we tolerate a second class education? Kumbaya.
Concerned Educator wrote:
It concerns me that the proposed legislation focuses on numbers. Our students are not numbers. They are real people with real lives. Lives that are often plagued with troubled homes, mental illness, and/or economic challenges. Our mental health system is in shambles and there appears to be no end in sight to alleviate this issue. Heathier parents mean healthier students. Mandating additional resources to aid schools in assisting students should be the priority not more avenues for counting and recording. Day to day our students need more support for tutoring and managing their lives. Many of our students face an enormous amount of problems in the community that the school is then made responsible for fixing. The legislation implies that schools are not already addressing problems with students and there are no extenuating factors. I would like to welcome our community to join us in this all important effort to keep students in school...more education equals more choices for the future. One of the major focuses in the school system is on graduation initiative. We cannot do it alone. We need your help and support.
tfj

Clayton, NC

#27 Oct 30, 2007
Accountabilty wrote:
There is nothing wrong with the education that the staff at Erwin High School is providing. My son attends Erwin, and I have been impressed with his teachers and the courses that he has been taking. People can blame the principal and the drop out coordinator all they want. But, I can promise you that as a parent, I wouldn't need any help in keeping my kid from dropping out of school. Parents need to step up, students need to step up. I'm sick of the blame game. Stop waiting for someone to fix it for you. The education opportunities are there.
My son did not go to Erwin H.S., but I do agree with the last part of your post. My son came home from school one day and said "I can't wait until I'm 16 and can quit school." I told him "Son, you're going to finish school and graduate if I have to go with you and lead you by the hand from class to class." He graduated.
Kevin

Gaffney, SC

#28 Oct 30, 2007
Like Christina, I ,too, am a graduate of Erwin, way back in 1973. The diversity issue had just begun to crop up back in "the day", as the over-used term puts it. The school has always suffered something of an image problem because I think most people see it as school set up in the middle of a corn field with only the kids of rural West Buncombe coming in. While I don't know the stats about dropouts back then, it's alarming to see that a large percentage of the kids aren't making it to their senior year. Perhaps some investigating should be done to uncover exactly what the heck's at the root of this problem.
Hey, there's something the AC-T could do besides crow about how great Asheville High is....what a concept!!
ERWIN HIGH PARENT

Asheville, NC

#30 Oct 30, 2007
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME,LOOKS AGAIN LIKE THE REPORTERS ARE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING WORTH WHILE NEWS TO REPORT.THEY MAKE IT LOOK LIKE ERWIN IS THE ONLY SCHOOL WITH THIS PROBLEM.....
Angry Parent

United States

#31 Oct 30, 2007
Ramjet wrote:
<quoted text>
Erwin got no more or less than any other school in Buncombe County. Glen Arden has every opportunity to get the same facility dollars as any school. Talk to your principal. The facility dollars are different monies from school teaching monies anyway!
You just made my point for me. There shouldn't be equal opportunity. Schools should be rewarded for performance, and perhaps we shouldn't be spending so much money on new sports facilities at Erwin or anywhere else. Do you realize we spend three times as much money on problem students in this country as we do gifted students?
rspm

United States

#35 Oct 30, 2007
I have two children at Erwin High. As a parent, I try to encourage them every day to do their best in school and in ALL that they do. Despite the economic factors involved (I am a single mother with no assistance from anyone but the Lord), they WILL make it through high school. Both children have small learning disabilities, but continue to succeed. I did not like the Citizen Times article, but maybe it was needed to wake other families up. There are some teachers that do not do a good job, but the majority of those that we have dealt with are doing their best to help our children succeed. Lets work on the bad stuff, but don't forget to be appreciative of those that really do care about our children. I appreciate all of the encouragement that my boys have received at Erwin High School from teachers and other staff. In the end, it is my responsibility as a parent to see that my boys succeed, and I will stand up and take that responsibility!
The New Cruelty

United States

#36 Oct 30, 2007
I am laughing my butt off reading all the comments on here blaming the Citizen-Times for reporting this story. You have got to be kidding me.

Get a clue, people, and look in the mirror.
ERWIN DAD

Asheville, NC

#38 Oct 30, 2007
IT ALL STARTS AT HOME, IF THE PARENTS DO NOT CARE THEN THE STUDENTS WILL NOT!!!!!!
Ramjet

United States

#44 Oct 30, 2007
Angry Parent wrote:
<quoted text>
You just made my point for me. There shouldn't be equal opportunity. Schools should be rewarded for performance, and perhaps we shouldn't be spending so much money on new sports facilities at Erwin or anywhere else. Do you realize we spend three times as much money on problem students in this country as we do gifted students?
No I did not make your point for you. You just can't see it. First of all, realize that the sports dollars are seperate from dollars spent on academics. You can't mix them!!! What so we were supposed to be watering fields all the time??? Second pay for performance?? How about putting academic money where needs are greatest!!!! Get real!!
ERWIN DAD

Asheville, NC

#45 Oct 30, 2007
Some EHS Seniors wrote:
The reason for the high dropout percentage is not Erwin's fault, it is at the fault of the parents of the children who drop out of school. As for those of us who are doing good in school and plan on doing something with our lives, we do not think it is fair to have this title posted on the front page of the Citizen Times. We have worked extremely hard through high school and this is what we get for it? To be embarrassed and joked about on your front page? We value our education and the opportunity to earn our degree as our parents expect us to. Dropout Factory? How about "Parents Who Need to be Better Parents" for your next headline?
I agree see we do have smart and great kids at Erwin
Wakeup Buncombe Co

Asheville, NC

#46 Oct 30, 2007
THIS IS VERY CRAZY!! Kids in school today are all about completing with each other. Some kids wear cool clothes, others wear good clothes but not the name brand clothes.
Parents of Buncombe County should go to the school board and demand for uniforms. This will be a small step, but would help in many areas. All the kids will then dress a like and would not compete with what they wear. People have always judged people by what clothes they wear. A dress code is needed in all Buncombe County Schools.
Why do Students drop out … for a job come on … Bull … They drop out because they are picked on by other students because they are different or cause of the teaching staff really are sick of dealing with kids like them.. Think about it folks …
If this does not make since think about this... High School is like a Relationship if you don’t like it you will change schools or even quit. Just like a relationship …….
Mountain Man

United States

#47 Oct 30, 2007
ERWIN HIGH PARENT wrote:
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME,LOOKS AGAIN LIKE THE REPORTERS ARE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING WORTH WHILE NEWS TO REPORT.THEY MAKE IT LOOK LIKE ERWIN IS THE ONLY SCHOOL WITH THIS PROBLEM.....
excellent post
Fenian

Hickory, NC

#48 Oct 30, 2007
I just got this note from my friend Bubba Billy Bob who has kids in the Erwin District:
"Hey Fen, whats up, long time no see. I seen yer note to the newspaper thing about stuff. Yer a scumbag. You zone, you gone.
By the way, my kid and your God-child Billy Bo, is working full time over at the Wal-Marts. He quit school cuz he hated all them rules they have. Got him a new car now,'95 Nissan,(dumb Rice-burner), his mother thinks he ought to get married and help raise his kid. I say no way as he isnt positive its his kid anyway.
Once they get that new race track built you and I can go to it and have some fun. See ya."
What more can I say.
CheckingIn

Casar, NC

#49 Oct 30, 2007
The New Cruelty wrote:
I am laughing my butt off reading all the comments on here blaming the Citizen-Times for reporting this story. You have got to be kidding me.
Get a clue, people, and look in the mirror.
Laughing your butt off??? That's your reaction??? Attacking high school students with headlines like that is poor judgement. Imagine the reaction from the students at Erwin having to read that headline with no support from their administratioin, no opportunity for a rebuttal. No opportunity to talk about what the school has been doing to support potential drop-outs beginning with 9th grade. That article is poor journalism. Regurgitating numbers with no real reporting. No real statistics of transfers. The ACT should be ashamed.
smokies

Washington, DC

#62 Oct 30, 2007
I remember when I was in school. Back then it was my responsibility to attend class and do my homework.

I so glad that the progressives have declared that its now society's resposibilty to see that students graduate and to blame everyone else for their failures.

“Why do ya need to know that?”

Since: Feb 07

Leicester

#68 Oct 30, 2007
For crying out loud. Ive never set foot in Erwin High School, but I will tell you this, the thought that blame in on what kids are wearing today is ridiculous, the blaming it all on the non-supportive teachers is ridiculous, as well.

Along with the ever perpetuating idea that people who live in West Buncombe and Leicester are all bubbas and bubbettes. Your child quits school, its YOUR fault and theirs. Not the school system.

I blame it on lack of PARENTAL control and support. Thats YOUR kid, you should have control over them.

When did the idea come about that social responsibility and morality should all be taught at school? It begins at home. And should be an on-going lesson.

I see kids walking up and down Leicester Hwy every day, people, that ought to have their lazy and lax butts in school. Know why they dont? Their slack parents dont care enough about them to make sure they GET there. There is no excuse for slack parenting. And no, this isnt just an Erwin district problem, either.

It is not and never will be society's place to see that your child gets educated. That is your JOB.

With all the "alternative" schools available today, there is simply NO excuse for a child not to graduate from highschool.

I find this to be embarrassing and I dont even have a dog in this fight. Gads.

Make it MANDATORY that every child stay in school until they graduate. If they quit, they cannot get a license to drive a car until they are 21. If they do drive while un-licensed, take the automobile they are driving and sell it at public auction and put the $ back into furthering education for kids that DO want to learn.

And living in the "country" doesnt mean one is dumb or stupid, undereducated or "off", either. That is a stigma perpetuated by the society we live in today. Shame on anyone who perpetuates it.
principle247

Arden, NC

#71 Oct 30, 2007
Most high schools allow students to re-enroll after they have quit once and decide that being "grown-up" is not all it's cracked up to be. Many times those same students (with the same attitudes and same parents) end up dropping out again. Guess what??? That one student counts as two different dropouts. It would be interesting to know how many of Erwin's students counted twice. I also don't understand how the principal and the dropout coordinator can be held responsible for 1000+ students and their academic pursuits (or lack of).

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