Upon reading further into Tough’s theories, something that really stood out to me was his ideas in chapter 4. Tough and other researchers pin down statistics and reasoning to figure out why students are dropping out of college.
One of my best friends from high school dropped out after his first semester at UNH. In high school, I graduated with 26 other students; only five are left in college. Five students, out of 26! I was extremely interested to find any sort of answer.
The first claim, and something that made the most sense to myself and my past schooling, was that high school grades tell people more about their motivation to succeed in any classroom than it does mastery of content (153). Tough says that a 3.5 GPA in a low income school vs. a 3.5 GPA in a high level high school only have a slight differentiation in how those two students would do in post-secondary education.
One of the other big things pushed throughout the chapter was the importance of ACT testing. This to me was somewhat significant, because in our high school, there was no stress on ACT testing. Nevertheless, one of the things that I took away from Kewauna’s story was on page 173, and the strategy she had with her biology professor. “every time he used a word she didn’t understand, she wrote it down and put a red start next to it.” (173). Although this really interested me, Jeff Nelson’s approach on getting low-income students motivated really intrigued me. Take teachers from all over the country with the ambition to get students to want to learn, and thing can get much better in the future.