All over the United States, teenagers are preparing for graduation from High School. To them I say Congratulations. High School is an important step along the way of life, and by completing it, and getting your diploma, you have met the minimum standards to participate in adult life.
Minimum Standards. That is all a High School Diploma represents. With one, you can take part in the great American experiment. You can go on to college, you can go on to vocational training, you can go into the military, or the seminary, or just get a job and start earning your way in life. The High School Diploma is the minimum standard.
If you don't have a High School Diploma, you are more likely to experience poverty, unemployment, incarceration, hopelessness. With a High School Diploma, you can still experience these things, but are less likely to. Should you gain more recognized education, your chance of success continues. There are very few PhD's in poverty or in prison.
So, to the graduates of 2005, I say congratulations.
To those dropouts who might be reading this, I say get your ass back in school.