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.
Just the euphemism "unprepared" exposes the college diploma fraud that is sold to so many American kids and families. As I have asserted many times, if you can't handle calculus, statistics, college physics, Econ, Plato, and Thomas Aquinus, you do not belong in a serious 4-year college.
There are immense other learning opportunities in the US for anybody who wants them, for motivated scholars. Public libraries, for one example. They do not close at 5 pm. Useful community colleges have sprung up all over America to provide some of the basic and remedial education that was not done in government high schools, and to teach practical skills that used to be learned in apprenticeships or on the job.
"Unprepared" is a euphemism for unmotivated, uninterested, or unable for personality or intelligence reasons. Not everybody can play in the NFL either.
Remember the shocking reality that half of Americans have below-average IQs. College curricula have been aimed at well-above average IQ and well-above average curiosity and self-motivation levels. Some "experts" opine that only 5% of a population are really able and interested in the demands of traditional and rigorous higher ed. I'm willing to admit that, of that 5-10%, only about half would be motivated to self-educate without the structure of a school. That's simple lazy human nature.
Were I (God forbid) a college admissions officer, one thing I would care about is what the applicant learned outside of school on their own initiative. As I have often said, learning is not something that is delivered, it is something that is taken. You can lead a horse to water, etc. Even the "worst" schools, whatever that means, offer huge opportunities for anyone who wants them. Teachers want nothing more than motivated, capable, and respectful kids, and will respond to them. Yes, even unionized teachers.
People can dumb higher ed down all they want to fill seats, collect tuition, etc., but it doesn't mean a thing anymore.
what crap. If someone can't do calculus or college physics or accounting they should not be in a four year college. I have a degree from Furman University. I took none of the courses you mentioned but am very familiar with Plato and Aquinus. Though my degree never earned me much money, my university studies immeasurably enriched my life. I went to a trade union school, earned my USCG marine engineering license, know how to weld, run a lathe, read an electrical print, and can repair my own computer and for 30 years earned a very good living. I also played college football but you know what....I have not made an open field tackle in 40 years. Trig functions I use quite often but not F(x).
awhile back I went on the dept of ed's site to see what they had posted about common core.
They outright state that the public education system is failing, due to the amount of students that can not read, write (and obviously have no critical thinking skills) and are not prepared for college. yet the solution to this, is give us more money, and more power. This is blamed on "society" not individual choice (of failure and no ambition).
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
Oh my, it looks like the author of this piece hasn't been educated about the wonders of diversity. Nor has he learned that it is no longer acceptable to refer to groups of disenfranchised, left-behind, variously challenged, other-enabled and stupid people with crude terms like, 'unprepared'. Barrister's name has been knitted into the sweater. Yes, government IT being what it is, we must depend on the virtuous hippy chicks found in occupy camps to keep our lists. May the blessings of the earth mother be upon you and may her grand breasts of unlimited subsidization forever fecundate our freedom, liberty and soil.
Instead of assuming the only path to success is through college and orienting primary and secondary education to the that goal we do a better job of identifying student's capabilities and desires and offering them some options like trade, arts or technical tracks.
These over educated and under life experienced folk always assume there should be one option that looks a lot like their world view.
I agree with Phil. You can be just as successful if you work with your hands as a skilled craftsman (electrician, welder, carpenter, etc) as I am with my Masters Degree teaching in college.
We have failed to educate most of our high school students by dumbing down the standards to the point where they are almost meaningless. So when students come to my class unable to retain the most basic of information or read for content, you can't expect them to succeed. Our little community college is open enrollment and we have about the same proportion of minorities and poor as the overall Texas population.
I would love to see how prepared my students would be if I taught for a year in the Ivy League bastions where I would expect most of my students would come from very privileged backgrounds and have attended good schools. But the truth is that I would still have some who wouldn't care enough to try.
I can tell you from experience that no matter how you relate to your students' background, you can't get them to learn if they don't have the basic skills.