Re: Vo-tech bill ready for committee action
I deleted some of this to save space.
Originally Posted by Chase
Chase, your take on vocational-technical high school education is right on the money. But, my objection to this bill is based on even more fundamental logic. And, I believe it goes to the heart of the problems with secondary public school education from the student side of the equation—and, for that matter, a number of the private schools (again, at the secondary level) are just as guilty.
I won’t even broach the teacher/administration side here. The problems with this side of the equation are monumental and are fodder for other posts.
The sponsors of this bill are proffering a subtle implication that reeks of academic elitism—though I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it’s unintentional. Regardless, it’s the same implication that existed when I was in high school, which was long enough ago that folks were still using charcoal to write with and shovels to write on—learned it from good ole Abe Lincoln, we did.
These people are assuming that only two types of students are working their way through Delaware’s high schools: those demonstrably smart enough to go to college and those who are too STUPID for such unrealistically high and mighty dreams and goals.
My fundamental question to such dorks has always been “Where is it formally decreed that vocational-technical oriented kids are not also smart enough to go to college as well?” My experience with such students has been that many of them do go on to college either immediately after graduation from their respective programs or after finding employment in their fields.
As well, many others don’t have the slightest desire to go to college, but they’re incredible technicians who stay in their fields and go on to build successful careers and/or start their own businesses. These people, in terms of intellectual curiosity, are well on a par with the nation’s average 24 to 25-year-old MBA graduates.
We need HIGHER public high school entry standards, not LOWER ones. I recognize that public schools have a greater problem with academic duds than the private ones do because the former can’t refuse to accept students—at least not until they reach the age of 16-years.
This nation is affluent enough to develop alternatives for kids who possess legitimate learning difficulties. It will take a little longer for these kids to find their passions, but, with the proper help, find them they will. But, the difficulties have to be legitimate and not simply made-up bafflegab.
We can also provide alternatives for the truly unmotivated brain-dead, as well. This country is teeming with filthy stadium toilets that need constant cleaning, ditches that need digging, restaurant tables that need busing, and a host of other undesirable tasks that require nothing more than the ability to show up on time.
In the meantime, however, we need a steady stream of our country’s most motivated kids entering our public high schools, vocational-technical or otherwise. Lowering the hoop so everyone can slam-dunk accomplishes nothing other than diminishing the pride in being able to slam-dunk.
Even if the pessimists are right, in the end, the optimists will have had a much more enjoyable trip through life.