“We don’t stop going to school when we graduate.” – Carol Burnett
U.S. students are graduating from high school at a higher rate than ever before, according to data released last year in the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The nation’s high school graduation rate hit 81 percent in 2012-13, the highest level since states adopted a new uniform way of calculating graduation rates six years ago.
It is estimated that over 3 million American high school seniors will graduate this spring. Many of them will join the 20 million students in the nation’s colleges, paying an every-growing amount to attend a college or university. Some will attend a trade school, go into the military or head straight into the workforce.
Among these wide-eyed young people are the 2016 classes of Barton Community College (which walked across the stage Friday) and Great Bend High School (which graduates today). What are they getting themselves in to as they take this giant step?
With the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, this nation has been at war since this these kids were toddlers. This view of us versus them has surely colored their view of the world around them, the world in which they are about to play key roles.
It sounds cliche, but they are our hope.
Among them will also be the candidates we will elect to lead this state and nation in the years to come.
For all of our sakes, let’s pray these kids learn what it takes to lead, and can see past the bitter shrouds of intolerance and clouds of anger to chart a sweet course that leads to a better future.
We can also pray that they heed Burnett’s advice and keep learning.