A shift in perception: What if at-risk students hold great potential?

Have students failed themselves when they can’t catch up in their classes? Are they beyond hope when they’ve come to the point of dropping out? Or is it because the system and the educators have actually failed them?


These concerns are among the many things that today’s educators think about when they deal with students who seem to be performing poorly in classes. To make things worse, many teachers are confident there are students who have failed and dropped out of classes but would have been top performers if only they tried harder.

Image Credit: degreesearch.org

Was there something that could have been done? The answer remains unclear for many educators. What is clear, however, is that the educational system that exists at present cannot answer to the learning inclinations of some students.

Previously, it seemed that there was no other choice on the matter. Students had to find a way to succeed, or to at least get passing marks and somehow try better in college, or they fail. It also seems that many schools of today don’t give much leeway to students who can’t attend classes due to one reason or another.

Image Credit: glengerreyn.files.wordpress.com

It is fortunate, then, that the trend seems to be changing and that the education sector is now more open to changes. There are now some alternative educational institutions that are emerging and these offer at-risk and dropout students the opportunity to earn a state-recognized high school diploma in a smaller, more individualized, self-paced high school environment.

Given this alternative to the traditional learning approach, it should now be easier for more students to get the education that they deserve.

Frank Biden is affiliated with Mavericks in Education, the charter management education for alternative education high schools. Since the opening of the Maverick Charter High School campuses in 2009, its teachers, administrators, leaders, and supporters have been committed to enabling students to achieve success.

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