Too many youth are lost each year when they drop out of school without completing a high school education. They are destined for lifelong poverty and difficulty if they are unable to complete their education and acquire the skills and knowledge that will enable them to work and have a meaningful career. Communities will suffer tremendously if this problem is not addressed – they will lose a significant amount of human capital, and will face rising costs in public services to meet the needs of an uneducated population. Young people, particularly those in low-income communities must overcome many hurdles to be successful, including the conditions of their schools and neighborhoods. Communities must band together to figure out how to systemically deal with these issues – such as failing schools, family poverty, unemployment, and youth violence – so that youth can be successful. By using data to guide the planning and use of resources, communities can create sustainable solutions that will help to keep youth on the path to success in school and in life.
Read more about this issue in the August 2011 article from CLASP, Keeping Youth Connected: Focus on Jackson.