As a recent Alaskan commenter points out, it is not unusual that the father of Governor Palin’s out-of-wedlock granddaughter-to-be is a high school dropout. Wasilla High School is identified as a “Drop Out Factory” in a Johns Hopkins University study.
Governor Palin, former mayor of Wasilla, former Wasilla HS basketball star and alumna, was outraged by this calumny. Like the school officials responsible, she argued with the statistics. As someone who changed colleges six times in five years, Mrs. Palin had to develop considerable statistical acumen just to keep her own transcripts straight.
Governor Palin, who appears to have majored in Umbrage in college, took umbrage with a statistical issue the Hopkins investigators had already considered in naming the school one of Alaska’s seven Dropout Factories. The researchers invite school districts to send new information, and post corrections on their web site. Wasilla is not among the corrections. 40 percent or more of entering students have dropped out of Wasilla High in the past three years. Go Warriors!
Incidently, Governor Just-a-Mom and her running mate, Senator Whatsisname, repeatedly cite her PTA experience as a presidential qualification. Mrs. Palin was only a PTA member at Iditarod Elementary for two years at most, a virtual PTA dropout.
Our Alaska commenter also notes that, at the state’s higher education flagship, “Freshmen . . . University of Alaska . . . students are also dropping out at a whopping 28% rate, because they are discovering that they are ill-prepared for college academics.” Don’t take his/her word for it. The three-campus, 32,000 student public university, which accepts any high school graduate in the state, did the study that percentage comes from. Megan Holland of the Anchorage Daily News wrote about it, and quotes a UAA freshman dropout: “It was just too much for me; I was overwhelmed.”
Our Alaskan AAU alum says:
I am here to tell you it is NOT that hard. I held an overload of credits (usually 17-18 credits per semester) while working a full time job, plus working at least additional 12 hours a week on the volunteer fire and ambulance service, and still managing to earn a 4.0 GPA every year.
Education in Alaska is a mess, thanks in no small part to the ostrich mentality of Sarah Palin.
Alaska is also ranked 44th in needs-based state aid to university students.
“The first step in addressing any problem is recognizing that you have one,” said Dr. Theodore Kassier, who wrote the study with Research Associate Alexandra Hill.
Professor Kassier (PhD) and Ms. Hill (MPA, MS, BA), meet Governor Palin (GOP).
Hat tip: long-time Alaskan.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com