. . .Although I agree that the education Americans receive is not up to par with the rest of the world.
A two-part essay about what to do with the educational system to make America more industrious.
We are losing so many different battles on so many different fronts that it’s hard to keep track of all of the losses. We need to work on the fundamentals, the “Three R’s”, so to speak. But that’s not the entire problem, it’s only a piece of the pie. Fifty years ago, very few people went on to college after a high school education. In 2009 more than 70 percent of high school graduates went on to college. That tells me a lot, that the degree of education of Americans is much higher than it has ever been, but the quality is in the dumper?
First off the amount of education doesn’t matter, really. High schools around the country offer programs that help students get a few courses under their belts before they graduate, but only students who meet or exceed specific standards, I would have never been allowed to participate in any such program because my grades at secondary level were horrible. Read here that when I entered college I was a solid B+ student in most of my courses, and I didn’t really apply myself. What we need is better quality education instead of more education. Prepare them for the real world in high school, then if they don’t like the real world and they qualify for college, let them go.
I am the first to admit that I should have probably skipped college in favor of a trade school. There should be more training at the high school level for skilled trades. New York State offers this training at the high school level through BOCES (the Boards Of Cooperative Educational Services). Where students spend half of their school day attending regular classes and the other half learning a skilled trade such as: Allied Health, Automotive, Building Trades, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electricity (Electrician)Personal Trainer (certified), I could go on but I will refer you to their website instead www.boces.org. Getting this training in secondary school does many things; it keeps the number of kids seeking a college education lower so there are more people in the workforce sooner increasing state revenues and productivity, it reduces the number of people who are immediately in debt upon graduation, it increases the number of individuals who purposely attend college to further the education they have already begun, creating a happier worker who has conscientiously chosen their field.
What I am getting at here is that we’re spending too much time on things that won’t advance a student’s education but will prepare them for college, when in reality not everyone should go to college. A percentage should learn through experience, a restaurant manager will learn better skills through training and application in the field, than by sitting in the classroom learning a formula to figure food cost.
You might argue that students who don’t have access to programs like these can get them at a community college, but why when what they need to know they can learn at the high school level and skip the whole, “I have to work to pay rent/find money to go to school/find time to study while working full-time” conundrum. A student shouldn’t have to go into a college program to be an electrician, or a carpenter, or a baker, those things are best learned through experts in the trade, and the earlier the better.
So, it turns out that education is really important, I will admit this but do you really need to go to college to manage a retail store? Do you need to have a Master’s Degree to run a small business? How about to be an RN? You never needed to be in the past, why so now? College/University education should be left for those who really need the advanced education: Doctors, Nurses (above a certain level), Teachers (K-12), College Professors, Lawyers, Sociologists, Engineers, etc.
Even then the college education shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Students should wait a year or two before entering into a college environment, in Britain they call it the “gap year”, they will value their education more that way, and know just what they want to do (if they didn’t already), rather than drifting aimlessly into college hoping to figure it out along the way. Ending up with a useless liberal arts education and a crap job on the other side does nothing for the advancement of our country or society.
Next: It’s about Increasing Manufacturing In the U.S.A.