The Public Interest

Carrots or sticks for high school dropouts?

David J. Armor & Jackson Toby

Winter 1992

GOVERNOR JIM FLORIO of New Jersey and his wife, Lucinda, both dropped out of high school at age seventeen. Although the two students who did not know each other at the time—were both capable of doing well in school, getting diplomas was simply not a priority for them. Later, both concluded that they had made the wrong decision. Jim Florio had to go out into the world and see for himself that his lack of education prevented him from realizing his occupational ambitions.  Lucinda Florio, who left school to marry and start a family, wrote recently that after dropping out she “would never avoid the feeling of having left something undone....”

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