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Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...


March 27th, 2008

An interesting thought from Don Surber @ 04:56 pm

Current Location: 30062
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Let some kids drop out of high school.

Now, before you start yelling at me, read the comments on his blog. Particularly the first one.
 
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From:meropa
Date:March 27th, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
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Well, I'll throw in my two cents as a teacher.

I do not think that all students are designed to finish high school in its current incarnations. The push for college prep and the craze of No Child Left Behind has a stronghold on schools, and critical tech/vocational programs are falling by the wayside. I do not believe that all my students will go on to college... and that is ok. I don't know when a college degree became a mandatory stamp on a student's passport, but I find it disturbing. There are lots of viable, important jobs and careers out there that do not require a college education, but do require a strong skill set.

My strongest example of this is always my younger brother. He is 21, and runs his own landscaping company. He started cutting lawns one summer when he was 14, and it just stuck. He was lucky enough to take some horticulture, landscape design, and business math courses in high school. Since I was the classic overachiever and finished college in 3 years, there was a lot of external pressure for him to do something similar. Since I am the first and only person in my family to attend/complete college, it didn't feel like such a huge deal to me that he didn't go. He likes what he does, and he does it well. That's more than a lot of college grads can say.

But back to the point... yes, let kids drop out. The reality check is probably bigger than any payroll check they'll be receiving, so why not? Wait. I know why. Because if too many kids miss too many days of school, the school won't make AYP, and then all hell will break lose.
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From:john_holton
Date:March 27th, 2008 09:47 pm (UTC)
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I was hoping you'd reply, because you're a teacher.

I think you nailed it: a high school that prepares you for college isn't much use if you don't plan on going to college. As you point out, there are lots of jobs that don't require a college degree. Mine included. My first job in IT was working for a service bureau. None of the guys I was working with had a degree; they learned computer programming on their own, or in the Army, or from taking a class in a junior college.

And I think your last sentence hits the nail on the head. Delivering a quality education is second to delivering head count. It's sad.
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From:meropa
Date:March 28th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
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Yeah. I think public education is in a terrible place right now for the most of it. I know there are some places getting it right, but there is a lot of head-in-assery out there. I'm not sure I'd send any of my own kids to public schools, having worked in them for 6 years (of course, I don't have kids, so it's a moot point).

Maybe I'll run for a school board one day.
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From:john_holton
Date:March 28th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
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My mother worked in the Chicago public schools so she could afford to send us to Catholic schools. When she had to send us to public schools (her being a single mom and all), we moved to the suburbs, because we would have had to go to the high school that her school fed into, and she didn't want to subject us to the potential grief.

Doesn't all the crap roll downhill from the school board?
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From:meropa
Date:March 28th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
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I kind of want to (and kind of don't want to) homeschool any kids I have. Not for conservative religious/ I hate the government reasons, but I'm big into kids not being stuck in a cinder block stack all day.
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From:azbound
Date:March 27th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
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Why would I yell when I agree? ;-)

BTW, I hope you don't mind but I friended you via anderyn's journal.
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From:john_holton
Date:March 27th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
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I kinda hoped you would. I'll friend ya back.

Chief Jack's Galley

There's a place for people who laugh at nothing...