Maybe the high school requirements have been dumbed down in some areas

but in Georgia the requirements have been increased so dramatically that many students are dropping out. They totally faced out the general education tracks diplomas and also the vo-tech. The college prep track was the only option. The guidance counselor at our son’s private school told us that it was a huge issue state wide for all high schools, both public and private. Some districts are actually encouraging kids to consider a GED. The idea was that since Georgia’s test scores were always in the bottom 5%, The state’s standing would only increase if most of those likely to score low were pursuing a GED. So Soon Georgia’s school’s will no longer rate 49th out of 50; but their drop-out rate will soar.
And people wonder why the homeschooling numbers are climbing.

Once upon a time (and really not all THAT long ago

when I went through public ed in the 60s) we taught and used a Classical Education model. More than anything, the value of the classical education model was that it developed critical thinking, analytical and reasoning skills. Not that other systems are not valuable, but CEM requires work, re-work, work (and then more re-work) until one “gets it right.”

Then we decided (about the mid 70s) that our public school teachers could be more efficient when lecturing to 30-40 students at a time (after all, that’s what we do in college!) Except that our colleges presumed they were getting CEM trained students. Lecturing AT a student works to a large degree, IF the student has learned the skill of how to learn.

Along with bloated classrooms, we decided that “FEELINGS” were more important than FACTS. Just go with the flow. Melanie called this dumbing down. While that may be true, I think it really is more than we didn’t want to require mastery, because lo and behold, mastery takes WORK, and demands that you don’t move on to the next subject/class/level, until mastery has been demonstrated (yep, it may mean you get “held back.”)

Having decided that feelings matter more than fact, we then (California anyway) decided to usurp any form of real education, and replace it with social engineering. We can’t speak the words “The Catholic Church” in the same breath/sentence as California History, but we spend entire semesters on La Raza studies.

So our high schools become remedial elementary schools, and our colleges become remedial high schools. Does a 4 year degree (or voc-tech) matter? I think it does. I think at the very least it says: I cared more about myself to do something other than go with the flow.

So how does this all tie back to LNT? Well, the bloated student loan debacle is an outgrowth of our what our kids have been trained via the public ed system: I Don’t Have to Work or Pay now for college- (money or effort), I can just go with the flow (take out a loan) and “later on” I’ll put in the work/effort (if necessary.) No one is going to hold me accountable.

I think a lot of it is family based

Other countries are putting an emphasis to their children that education is important and to work hard on your studies.
One reason other countries are doing this is because they have to. Many countries (such as Japan and Germany) require students to take exams before what we would consider high school. These exams place the student into either a college prep like high school or a trade learning school. The trade learning school is then followed by and apprenticeship–which leads to a full time job after completion. Therefore, the parents put an emphasis on their children all the way through elementary schools to do their best and learn the most they can. And since parents like to brag about their children’s scores—they keep the pressure to study on.
However, here is the U.S., while some parents put an emphasis on studies—many are just surviving and rather have their kids working to help support the family—part of which causes our huge high school drop-out rate.
In addition to that–those same parents put no emphasis on education and care not if their children misbehave in school–even in the elementary years.
Worse than that—many teachers look at a misbehaving Johnny in the early years and pin him as not being successful and slowly but surely create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
All that being said–I do not think college is an absolute necessary device for success. Many, many people in our wonderful country have done VERY well without it.
However, I do believe education can never hurt you (unless you are taking huge student loans to weigh you down for years to come).

Just an opinion,
Erika (I have student loans I am working on. However, my 2 kids will be a college senior and junior this year-and soon will be graduating debt free!).