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One Shelbyville high school student says that many dropouts in his community quit school to work in a nearby factory. "I know a lot of kids that are making well over $500 a week," he says. "I mean, why stay in school?"

Russlynn Ali, director of the Education Trust West who has been fighting to improve schools for 16 years, warns that these factory jobs won't be around much longer. Many companies are moving their factories to foreign countries and outsourcing jobs because American workers are lacking basic job skills.

Poorly trained workers and high school dropouts are products of the "cycle of low expectations" in America's public schools, Russlynn says. "Students rise to expectations, and they fall to expectations."
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FROM: What Bill and Melinda Gates Want You to Know
Published on April 11, 2006

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