(I chose Alaska just because they turned out to have the highest dropout rate for the year presented. The year before it was Arizona with 8.5%. And Puerto Rico as the poorest territory of the U.S.)
Poverty Levels living below poverty standards:
48.2% Puerto Rico.
9.4% for Alaska.
$16,543 for Puerto Rico
$59,036 for Alaska
(Fact finder U.S. Census, 2000)
School year 2003-04 grades 9-12, High School data:
1.0%, 165,527 students, 1,599 dropped out. Puerto Rico.
7.0%, 40,238 students, 2,814 dropped out. Alaska.
(National center for education statistics, 2007)
Sept. 11.7% in Puerto Rico (U.S. Bureau of labor, 2008)
Sept 6.8% in Alaska (U.S. Bureau of labor, 2008)
Poverty has nothing to do with many of the preconceived ideas that we have. The ability to finish school and all the benefits of an education must have another driving force.
As Puerto Rico does not have the social safety nets that are present in the US, there is no choice but to drive forward.
Also the heavy competition for the few jobs creates an environment in which only the people with the qualifications are going to get possession of the better paying jobs.
I believe it is the social structures that form and demand that people stand up in the place of governmental interception.
It is about upbringing, social pressures to stay down, and personal desire to pursue rather than blame.
There is an old saying, “Crabs in a bucket can escape from the bucket one at a time, but instead of doing that they pull each other down whenever one gets close to escaping.”
For me the riding the train of being “left behind” is just one more excuse for bad parenting and the social idea that it is the governments’ job to fix all wrongs.
Fact finder U.S. Census. (2000). Retrieved Oct 30, 2008, from U.S. poverty levels: http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/GCTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-_box_head_nbr=GCT-P14&-ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U&-format=US-9
National center for education statistics. (2007). Retrieved Oct 30, 2008, from Event drop out rates: http://www.cpec.ca.gov/CompleteReports/ExternalDocuments/Event_Dropout_Rates_Grades912_2002_2004.pdf
U.S. Bureau of labor. (2008, Sept). Retrieved 10 30, 2008, from Economy at a glance: Puerto Rico: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.pr.htm
U.S. Bureau of labor. (2008, Sept). Retrieved 10 30, 2008, from Economy at a glance: http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.ak.htm