In Maine, you’re a dropout if…

Posted: December 3, 2009 in Education

So, if you don’t already know, I work in an alternative education program. “What is an alternative ed program?” you might ask. Ask four different people, you’d get four different answers. But, keeping it short, it’s for students who struggle in a regular ed setting. We’re small, not many kids, and we “differ” instruction. I use a lot of computer stuff (go figure…).

But here is the real rub about alternative ed: most of the time alt ed programs are part of a drop out prevention plan. But get this, did you know that any kid that doesn’t finish high school in the prescribed four years, is considered a drop out, even if they don’t leave school at any point. At least, that is what I’m told.

Of course, the state doesn’t clear that up any. I read the actual law, which as you can guess due to the fact that it came from Augusta, it’s as clear as mud. Here it is:

As used in this subchapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, a “dropout” means any person who has withdrawn for any reason except death, or been expelled from school before graduation or completion of a program of studies and who has not enrolled in another educational institution or program. [1989, c. 415, §28 (AMD).]

I guess the first step for the state is to clear up the law, because I don’t get it. No wonder Maine’s educational system is so out of touch. Normal people don’t understand the mumbo-jumbo.


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