This is an issue that effects both SAH and WOH.
True. However, I believe those 70% statistics do not include those students who go back and get their GED. It is a hard stat to get as we only have the stats of students who get GEDs every year but not which prior HS class they should be counted.
I do wish our system had more "trade" options for students. Even if they were offered as a year after HS.
I think the US systems is certainly flawed and has pockets of greatness and failure. However, I don't think it is as bad as people think. I think even in the poor districts, like DC's, there is opportunity for success (but it has to be child driven and parent/guardian supported).
It is difficult for me to judge. I tend to think that you are largely right. I also think that European systems tend to be idealized by Americans, when the reality is not necessarily so rosy. My main beef with the US systems in general has to do with curriculum choices and educational philosophy, not so much with the issues discussed here.
I do agree that vocational training could stand some serious improvement in the US (and in many other places). Not everyone belongs in college. One of the advantages in many of the "elitist" European systems, in which triage is done without apology, is that real alternatives to the academic route are offered. Denmark is a pretty good example of this. The Danish system also has decent flexibility, in the sense that you can move between tracks throughout your life.
From the fact you were answering my post where I said the best and the brightest are the ones who lead.
This is the post to which I responded:
"They will be the ones who lead. Our current system flushes them. This is a mistake. " (post 51)
Then I said:
"Where do you live? That is definitely not my experience (nor of my friends/relatives in many parts of the country) in suburban MA, suburban Washington, New Jersey, Richmond, rural Iowa, suburban Minneapolis... The GT students are catered to here." (post 60)
then you cattily responded with:
"Where you live it's the kids who do poorly in school who lead? Where do YOU live? I'd like to make sure I don't move there.
Here, it tends to be the kids who are successful in school who go on for higher educations and lead. I guess we're just strange. " (post 81)
Which makes absolutely no sense to me as a response to my post.