Re "Drop out? Not an option," Dec. 9
Brava, Principal Marsha Coates, for incorporating a system of community instead of isolation for students at Birmingham High School. It appears that Coates and her staff have a genuine interest in the success of their students. Perhaps the interest and involvement will eventually pass on to the parents. I can't help but think that as students see themselves as an integral part of their school community, parental involvement will follow. Good luck, Birmingham students.
Birmingham dropout Tony Tacen works in construction. Appropriate courses like wood shop, machine shop and computer-aided drafting could have kept Tony in school. But these courses are long gone in many schools. The mantra is "everybody is going to college," but only a small percentage of students who start junior college go on to earn a bachelor's degree.
It's time to stop the feel-good high school programs and address the real needs of most of the urban students.