This story is part of WSKG's 9 Seconds series about high school dropouts. It's part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's American Graduate Initiative. You can read the rest of the stories in this series at

Tony DiLucci grew up in a working class family. When he was in high school, his counselors sized him and his family up, and guided him toward a life of factory jobs.

"I had a high school counselor who said to me, 'College, why do you want to go to college? Your dad works in a factory, your mom is a homemaker, graduate from high school and get a job at one of the local factories.' "

Why DiLucci wanted to go to college was because of his dad: his father had always urged him to do so.  So he did, and now he's the director of the technical education center at the BOCES near Ithaca.

But DiLucci says the pressures he faced as a young person are different than what today's students face.  Had he opted for a manufacturing job right out of school, it would have been an option for him.  

Increasingly though, that's not the case for today's kids - and never mind what happens if you don't graduate.

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Ten years ago, No Child Left Behind was signed into law, promising to revolutionize the American education system.

Now, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is among those calling for its overhaul.

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Back in August the legislature tabled measures that would have given the SUNY system more autonomy. But SUNY officials say they'll be back - they just don't know when, or in what form. 

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New York is often seen at the leader when it comes to technology. But the state is playing catch up in K-12 education, according to Dr. Oliver Robinson, the superintendent for the Shenendehowa School District in upstate New York. Kids today are called "digital natives" because they are born surrounded by technology. While students may live in the 21st century at home, they take a step back into the past at school, especially with standardized testing.