We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Man, do I agree with Ramesh in Time. One quote from his piece of the above title:
We could probably increase the number of high school seniors who are ready to go to college — and likely to make it to graduation — if we made the K-12 system more academically rigorous. But let's face it: college isn't for everyone, especially if it takes the form of four years of going to classes on a campus.
To talk about college this way may sound élitist. It may even sound philistine, since the purpose of a liberal-arts education is to produce well-rounded citizens rather than productive workers. But perhaps it is more foolishly élitist to think that going to school until age 22 is necessary to being well-rounded, or to tell millions of kids that their future depends on performing a task that only a minority of them can actually accomplish.
The good news is that there have never been more alternatives to the traditional college.
To my mind a trend towards less college reminds me of my days working in a European company, where some very intelligent co-workers never went to college. It reminds me that their country was / is very steeped in socialism.
During business dinners as discussion turned to college years, some individuals became very quiet and withdrawn. Several who were here in the states, enrolled at night in local colleges simply to say they attended.
Right or wrong, I dont want that for my children.
With the cost of private colleges and universities sky rocketing, many wont have a choice. By design?
Interesting post. Particularly since I'm one of those non-traditionally educated people mentioned.
After High school, I started on college, only to find I wasn't ready to go... insufficiently focused, not particularly interested, etc.
The navy gave me a useful skill (nuclear reactor operation) and now I ply my trade in the civilian world.
I do, however, find myself back in college now. Not because my job doesn't pay well (quite the contrary, actually) but because I'd like a normal M-F job someday that will allow for the attending of school programs and soccer practice on a regular basis.
Long story short, though, is that everyone would like to think their child is capable of college and achieving anything. Unfortunately, in real-life, we can't all be astronauts.
I too am of that mindset. I was woefully unprepared and way unfocused for college, so I joined the Navy for a technical career (aviation electronics - '70s) . (Plus the fact my mother asked "the question" when I dropped out the second time: "Where are you going to live? What are you going to eat? What are you going to wear? You certainly are not doing that here!")
After the navy I too plunged into a civilian career, self taught myself on software, took a few college courses to focus on certain aspects and here I am. Out of five children (I'm the middle) I am the only one who does not have a degree, and I make far and away more money than any of my siblings. I will also say I have more hours as a student in a classroom than 90% of college 'educated' students due to the technical nature of my career. The company kept sending me to technical classes on equipment and software and I never turned them down, to the point I have two pages single spaced lines of education on my resume.
The problem I see is the "college focus" of current educators. These elite have been drilled since birth to believe unless you have a piece of paper to say you are educated you aren't squat. This elite-ism has driven the agenda so long it is nigh impossible to find a high school these days that has a vocational education center. Even the HS attended by my youngest boy, built new in the late 90's with a vo-tech center has dropped the programs to concentrate on more politically correct education programs.
Another side issue with the vo-tech crisis is the lack of teachers. It is not a problem finding individuals with the technical skills to teach the material.... it is an issue finding people with the requisite "teaching certificate" that says "YES! I have a piece of paper, now I am a teacher!" (That is an issue with any professional society.... to protect the society from competition of 'uncertified' individuals, and get laws passed to codify the behavior.)
So what will society do to address the technical crisis? probably nothing.... nothing until society finds they are importing far too many foreigners to perform the low level maintenance tasks that "society won't do" (mainly because they can't) and find their fate is held in the hands of other governments.
JoeC ... What a wonderful post you make above. You are a poster guy for intelligent focused education. You write beautifully and have been a life success, and you prove our earlier discussions here on using the various aspects of education to achieve personal growth.
The "college focus " which the National Education Association adheres to in steering young people toward one method of schooling over another does not serve the majority of them well, in this period of national financial stress. As Bird Dog and Barrister have pointed out, the traditional "college education" is kind of like a scholar's luxury in today's world, and not well suited to the needs of young folks who need a job.