I wasn’t sure what the response would be to the question of whether college was necessary, but I figured this topic would get some discussion. Never dreamt I’d be reading some of the situations like below. That’s just amazing to me.
Mom was a elementary school teacher of various types for 30 years, and I grew up with the notion (still have it actually) that a child’s education generally makes or breaks their chances later in life. Yes there are the amazing stories of those who overcame a lack of education early on, and those who squandered a solid preparation. But just from the point of view of sheer statistics, it was true then that those kids with a solid education, go on to have solid careers and responsible adult lives in whatever category they choose. But DANG, philosophies have changed a lot since then! We’re having something of a debate in Seattle schools right now about their math curriculum which college educators say is allowing kids to graduate without the faintest idea of how math “works”, and thus they can’t hack the college level science and math courses. But school district folks say it reduces the burden on the teachers for lesson planning, etc etc etc. I can’t help but think there must be a better way to fix the situation than to have a solution where the teachers present canned material and the kids can’t hack even intro math classes as college freshmen. I don’t have answers but that can’t be the best answer.
Anyway, thanks for the discussion on this point. Looks like we’ve got some work to do in the realm of how best to prepare our next generation.
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.
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.
the cc is given when the students can’t pass the required end of the year test, but passed the course–they do not get the credit hour for passing the class until they test is passed. the problem with this is some classes being taken though virtual school and the test only being given 1-2x per year at a regular school. with vs, you aren’t guaranteed a start date, so you might not be able to take the test at the end of the course–you may have to wait up to 6 months or more.
The other problem with the schools are that they are no longer offering vo-tech classes. not everyone is cut out for college, but could have a promising career as a/c repair, car repair.
That we have dumbed down the requirements for high school graduation so that this doesn’t mean much anymore. The employers need something to show who stands out and now that has to be a college degree. If we could graduate people from high school that were truly educated, then the employers would feel that it meant more. College would be for developing the skills needed for a particular profession rather than for developing a general educated mind.
But, I think that it’s too late for that. When we set a goal of increasing the number of high school graduates, they lowered the standards to get that diploma. Any efforts to increase those standards will be met with resistance. IMHO, we ought to provide certificates of completion for those that cannot meet the academic standards.
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!).
The article opens with a set of statements that American educational achievements are slipping against world standards (but the article doesn’t explain how that’s measured or why it’s occurring). The article author then interviews four 30-something individuals who didn’t attend and/or graduate from college. Their perspectives on their current financial situations, and whether college would change those situations, were rather interesting. I also found it interesting that their attitudes about life and work and a variety of non-education issues, flavored their opinions on whether college would have been worthwhile. They also had some interesting opinions on how their current financial situation was caused by, and/or would have been helped (or not helped) by a college education. Frankly, I think their attitudes shaped their current situation far more than a college education would have. But I thought I’d share and see what the forum thought about the article, and the notions of a) whether college is necessary in today’s world and b) whether the American educational system is failing our young adults.
Happened to watch a YT video using a pressure cooker, and the person held up a book “Great Vegetarian Cooking under pressure” by Lorna Sass (or something like that.)
ANYWAY— she has several, so I bought the vegetarian one and “Cooking Under Pressure” (20th anniversary edition.)
Cooking under Pressure arrived today. REALLY like the looks of it so far….easy recipes, simple ingredients….
Really looking forward to doing all of these recipes….I could start my own YT channel: 150 days of pressure cooking! lol