Student to Schools: Stop Trying to Fit Us Into the Same Mold! (VIDEO)

The statistic is frightening: 857 kids in the U.S. drop out of high school every hour of every school day. A study from the Alliance for Excellent Education predicts that 12 million students will drop out in the next decade.

While kids leave school for a variety of reasons, including a lack of parental support and poor grades, this high school senior explains why she thinks there something much deeper going on. 

"Schools try to fit us into the same mold," she says in the video. "But we are not all the same. We have our own interests and passions and we want schools to understand that."

Gianna also talks about standards and high-stakes tests. She says, "We know schools have expectations of us...but what about our expectations of school? We expect relationships, we want our teachers to know us and respect us."

The video is part of the Leaving to Learn movement, started by Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski. They recently published the book Leaving to Learn: How Out-of-School Learning Increases Student Engagement and Reduces Dropout Rates.

Washor and Mojkowski feel that schools should offer more experiences that allow kids to do some of their learning outside of the classroom. These include: internships, community service, independent projects, and credit for out-of-school accomplishments.

"If schools want to stop the dropout crisis," Gianna says in the video, "schools have to make sure that we are connected to the things that matter to us. We want to be engaged in our learning. If schools give us a chance to do that, we'll go beyond their standards."



Related Stories on TakePart:

• Could Compassion Be the Key to Reducing Dropout Rates?

• 857 Empty Desks at National Mall Symbolize Dropout Rates

• A Look at Why So Many Kids in the U.S. Are Dropping Out of School

Jenny Inglee is a Los Angeles-based journalist and the Education Editor at TakePart. She has taught English in Vietnam and tutors homeless children in Los Angeles. Email Jenny | @jennyinglee |