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Dropouts

A Nation of Dropouts Shakes Europe by Charles Forelle.

Isabel Fernandes, a cheery 22-year-old with a constellation of stars tattooed around her right eye, isn’t sure how many times she repeated fifth grade. Two, she says with a laugh. Or maybe three. She redid seventh grade as well. She quit school with an eighth-grade education at age 20.

Ms. Fernandes lives in a poor suburb near the airport. She doesn’t work. Employers, she says, “are asking for higher education.” Even cleaning jobs are hard to find.

Portugal is the poorest country in Western Europe. It is also the least educated, and that has emerged as a painful liability in its gathering economic crisis.

More at WSJ.

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