"A New Model for Higher Education: Can We Meet the Demand Before They Vote with Their Feet" by Hal Plotkin, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Under Secretary, United States Department of Education.
"I...stopped out of high school when I was about 14...because of desperate problems in our family. It was a single parent family. We grew up on welfare and food stamps and had no money and often no medical care. My sister and I went to work in the same pizza parlor having dropped out of high school. [At 14, I read an article about dropouts] and wrote a letter to the editor objecting to the pejorative use of the word 'dropouts.' I explained that my sister and myself and all the people we knew in similar situations didn't drop out of anything, we were pushed out and nobody ever came looking for us once we were gone."
Hal Plotkin is the Senior Policy Adviser in the office of the Under Secretary of Education in the United States Department of Education. Previously, Plotkin served as president of the board of the Foothill-De Anza Community College Districts Governing Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the federal government, Plotkin was a Silicon Valley-based journalist and commentator, a founding editor of public radios Marketplace program and a former columnist for CNBC.com and SFGate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle.