Across the nation, the dropout rates for high school students are appallingly high.

Here in the District of Columbia, where schools are being closed throughout the city, more than 40 percent of our students drop out, an inexcusable number in the capital of our nation in 2008.

I've been a baseball fan all my life, was a student athlete in school, and in fact I was once offered a tryout for the Dodgers at third base (though I told the scout he caught me on a good day, and I'd last an hour in spring training!).

As predisposed towards sports as I am, I think it's outrageous and ridiculous that the powers-that-be of our community rally like the 101st Airborne at Normandy to build a high-priced new baseball stadium, while schools are being closed and more than 40 percent of our kids don’t graduate.

Our new mayor is a good man and is making efforts at rallying the business community for the schools, but through no fault of his, the results so far are modest.

Shame on the adults throughout America for letting the kids drop out at sky-high rates while building big stadiums for games, which, no matter how worthy and fun, should never take such high priority over educating kids and graduating students.