Informed, true grass-roots activism is how America will take its first steps toward change, but unions using individuals in Astroturf protests will only maintain the ineffective and harmful status quo. It is no secret that public schools across the nation are producing more and more ”drop-out factories”. The state as well as the student is harmed. High school dropouts from the class of 2008 will cost the state nearly $8 billion in lost wages over the course of their lives . Pennsylvania is no exception.