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.
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Tuesday, May 18. 2010
I have attempted to make the case for that fact many times here. Among other data, a post with the above title offers this:
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While there is a great deal of truth and common sense in the article, there is a bit of piffle in there also.
First off, it isn't necessarily the people sending their brats to college who need convincing that "college ain't for everyone". It would help if the people advertising positions, interviewing, and hiring believed it . We are stuck with what the marketplace demands.
Next, there is the notion that one needn't attend "college" to become, for example, a registered nurse. Many (most?) nursing programs are some form of college program - perhaps community college for an Associate degree rather than a Bachelor, but a nurse is not likely to progress far in the career without a Bachelor's degree of some sort. Doesn't much matter how much one knows about nursing (or similar health care occupations), to make a career of it requires further education - especially if one wants to teach in the field.
The general point holds, however. We don't really need to send everyone to college - at least not directly after HS.
I wholeheartedly agree with the article. We need people who know how to fix machines, manufacture, farm, and construct. Plumbers, carpenters, masons, electricians, mechanics, heavy equipment operators are needed to maintain and repair all the stuff that makes our life so cozy and easy.
Those who do the necessary labor learn their skills by doing, either OJT, trade schools, or even apprentice programs. We wince when billed by them, but think nothing of what we pay to be entertained or amused by professional athletes or actors.
The biggest idiots in our society are those who go from high school to college to earn a degree in something useless, e.g. ethnic studies, art appreciation, ecological studies, ad nauseam. Just look in a college catalog and think of what use you might personally have for any of those degree programs.
No one wants to really work - let's all go to a cubicle, play on the computer with spreadsheets, word documents, and power points we make each other suffer though at meeting upon meeting.
We're squandering the hard earned fruits of our capitalist success.
Sorry charlie, the "College Ain't for Everyone" does not fit the narrative. The educated elite teachers drum that incessantly into the fawning parents and children. The elite have successfully killed off most vo-tech classes and programs.
The High School (Jacksonville, Illinois) I attended in my youth once had a first class vocational program that taught auto/farm mechanics, welding, drafting, electronics, woodshop, electrical, agriculture and 'home' economics all contained in a separate building across the street from the school. FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4-H (Heart, Hands, Head, Health - IIRC) were celebrated programs, fostered and supported by the school district. Today those programs are distant memories for the students who attended there... for when the 'new' high school was built, no money could be found to house such bourgeois studies. Now the school district has "Advance Placement" studies of all types to replace practical life skills.
My teacher friend relates that everyone who wants into AP classes can get into AP classes. She has 'mainstreamed' mentally deficient individuals that have to be reminded to breathe in one of her "AP" classes. I am reminded of that line from "The Incredibles" that said "When everyone is special, then no one will be" that we now experience. For in an effort to 'mainstream' everyone in a fruitless pursuit of equal outcomes, we have lowered the standard to the least common denominator to the detriment of any achievement whatsoever.
So now if one achieves some small success in spite of no Fourex issued by Harvard, I hear that (partial) line from that Janis Ian song "At Seventeen"
"Their small-town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise ........"
Here's the problem - the "well-paying" jobs today require an increasingly higher level of education. I was at a conference in Feb and the economist who spoke had a good point - in 1980, a college grad could expect to earn +/-30% more than a high school grad over his/her earning years. At the end of 2009, that percentage had increased to 80%.
It does not take a "rocket scientist" to see that most workers will need at least a two-year (and most probably a four-year) dgeree, in order to have any reasonable opportunity at a middle-class life style. Forget about him/her saving for any children's education or retirement at those kind of income levels.
Best "real world" example I know - the Toyota manufacturing plants in the US require at least a two-year degree to be considered for employment as an hourly worker on the assembly line. If those entry-level jobs (that pay in the mid-$20's per hour) require at least a two-year degree, think of what education level most of those folks will need if they want to move up in their career(s) at Toyota.
While the occupational category "home health aide" may be fast growing, the actual income level is probably pretty low. Based on personal experience, "home health aides" outside of major metro areas make around $10/hour. Career growth opportunities are typically limited.
I've rambled, but I hope my points come through.
Blackdog, I don't think I am arguing your point, because I do agree, for a better paying more 'prestigious' position, having a degree is a must.
(brings up that old joke about the guy with the master's degree applying for a job at McDonald's. The manager was hesitating. The guy says I know I am overqualified, but I am reliable and will show up. The manager says, that's not the point. Its just our usual applicant has a Phd.....)
And that joke brings up a dichotomy of two different world views, both of them sad. A hamburger flipper would be better served by having the home economics classes in high school to learn about preparation, cleanliness, organization, and cooking skills (classes no longer offered by more progressive thinking school districts), the current model is the job requires a two year degree (a degree offered by the local junior college in preparation, cleanliness, organization, and cooking skills).
The basics one used to learn as part of a well rounded education in high school (or even middle school, I took home Ec. in 8th grade) is now shoved UP into junior college as a specialization course called, oh, I dunno, Culinary Arts or some such.
The sad truth is High Schools are NOT preparing students for real life (home/life management skills). Those programs have been sacrificed to push the progressive think that EVERYONE MUST GO TO COLLEGE (the drumbeat) where sadly, most will fail for a variety of reasons.... the biggest being unsuitability. (which is not a politically correct assessment. For the progressive think is everyone is the same so there must be equality of outcome.)
And for your Toyota example? See the McDonald's joke. The H.S. student that would have learned manufacturing skills in a Vo-tech class, can't now (the classes have been eliminated). Whereas in the past, a H.S. would have prepped the more blue collar inclined student for that job, that same student today MUST attend a junior college (and spend another two years of life) in a specialization program.
So companies have been forced to up the education requirements in self defense to eliminate the underachievers and poorly trained.... something a H.S. diploma did for them in the past. The progressive H.S. thinking is 'everyone MUST graduate', suited or not (equality of outcome).
A final thought on this. Some fallout from the drumbeat is the management, having been indoctrinated by that drumbeat, now specify by default "two year degree or higher". I call this requirements escalation... the need to establish a higher requirement justified or not. A partial fallout of THAT is you get a graduate with high expectations performing a mindless job, becoming unhappy, performing poorly and leaving. Another fallout, is those unsuited students, who would have learned life skills in H.S., haven't, cannot find a job because they have no skills at all, to become a burden on society. They have been sacrificed in the name of progress. Equality of Outcome! It is your right!