Choices for Truants
From this article in the Post-Dispatch, it’s not clear whether students are being pulled away from school or pushed out (emphasis added):
"The reasons that kids miss school are as varied as the bugs in your garden," said Jodi Heilbrunn, an analyst with the National Center on School Engagement, which studies truancy. "Kids who are really smart and bored to tears, kids who have learning disabilities, health problems, mental health problems."
If kids are leaving school because of boredom and learning disabilities, that sounds like the schools aren’t responding to kids’ needs. Sending them back to the same bad situation isn’t the answer, so I was glad to read the article’s headline: "Truancy Court Offers Choices, Support." However, the only choices mentioned in the article are rewards and punishments for the truants. If they go back to their old school, they can earn a gift certificate to Target. So while they’re sitting in school, bored to tears or struggling with a disability, they can be thinking of all the underwear and household goods they’ll get to buy at Target.
I think choices in education are a good thing, but the choices I had in mind were more along the lines of choosing schools where students can be happy, safe, and academically successful not choosing which bribe to take for showing up.