Lots was going through my head reading this article. I have a low-performing son, and I want to keep him in high school as long as I can. He is not ready for most entry-level work places. Working at MacDonald's is very stresful.
And the school has put him into a program where he is doing trades and "junior high all over again."
I think the statistics are quite profound. The higher the education, the more life time earnings one makes. There is a significant difference between th e dropouts and the non-academic diploma achievers.
Of course this not explain everything. There are always exceptions--and you and your brother may be some of them. I have a friend who dropped out in Grade 8 to work in the oilpatch. He has done well for himself in the past 50 years.
But staying in a bullying envirornment is another issue that society has yet to address well. Schools should just not be like that PERIOD.
I am also in favor of a unit based currculum where students work at their own pace, but prodded along. This summer I put my son in Read Theory. He is Grade 10. The software had him at Grade 2 level of reading, and he moved up to Grade 5. Unfortunately he does not feel any victory with his progress. He gets a bigger buzz trying to fool Dad that he did this Read Theory. But we need more programs like this Read Theory.
These days I work in adult education at a local college. I help adults get their high school credentials. I tell them if you guys didn't fool around so much, I wouldn't have this job.
About half move forward. The other half spins wheels for a semester or two.