cluelessness of the most dangerous kind
anyway, it would appear that state rep colleen garry thinks that parents of capable children should not be capable of "sending" them to area vocational schools, so that parents of incapable children should be able to send theirs there instead.
this is so many layers of wrong i don't know where to begin...
i've written before how frustrated it makes me to read that area public schools are upset that area vocational schools might now exist to recruit students from among "their" populations. years ago, when vocational schools were first chartered, public schools were only too happy to ship all their least and dimmest down the potholed path to a trade education, saving themselves what they perceived to only be a behavioral problem they had with kids unwilling or unable to sit still through their "education". somewhere between then and now, it has turned out that vocational schools have not only been able to provide meaningful education to even those the public schools found unfit to educate, but they've also been able to do such a good job of it that the world is starting to beat a path to their door for it.
and now, just like the clueless and proven-incompetent-via-poor-results public school administrators she inadvertently coddles, colleen garry wants to shut that door again, lest it be fairly available to all.
rep garry says "these kids are taking the spots of kids who really need to learn a trade and are not going to go to college", as if kids going to college these days really don't need to learn a trade. and i know she likely grew up in an era when a bland and otherwise empty liberal arts education was all one needed to get along, but someone really ought to explain to her about the "education bubble", grade inflation, and the crushing combination of overextended student load debt piled on top of the inability of today's college graduates to find meaningful and sufficiently-paying jobs for the joint reasons of there not really being many around unrelated to an actual (aka "trade") education, on top of their being functionally illiterate, innumerate, and unqualified for much beyond flipping burgers.
the solution, ms garry, if your liberal arts education isn't sufficient for you to reason it, is to make meaningful education available to all--not to ration it in favor of those who don't even work hard enough to earn it. (not for nothing, but two thirds of vocational entrance standards are attendance and disciplinary records over and above grade achievements, and if working hard enough by simply showing up and staying out of trouble can't be used as a standard, then we're really in trouble here).
some stats provided by the sun which are important to consider: 96% of voke students passed MCAS, as opposed to 94% of others. 91% of voke students graduate, as opposed to 82% of others. less than 1% of area voke students dropped out last year. statewide, other schools lose 2.7%. i'm sure this is interpreted by ms garry and other area "educators" to suggest it's easier to get through a voke school, and, thus, most appropriate for those that are having trouble getting through their public schools. but as the parent of a voke student majoring in robotics, (which includes electrical engineering, materials science and structural engineering, computer chip design and software programming), i'm with the various voke principals quoted as saying things like "it's a misnomer that many people feel students who can't make it academically should be in a regional technical school", and that it's impossible to succeed in many of the trades offered without strong math, communication and computer skills. (aka the core of any "liberal arts" education).
a voke education has become the REAL education. (i have no idea what to call what's going on in the public schools these days). my middle son, previously poorly served in the public shooles, aces his math and english curriculums today not because they're easier in the voke environment, but because they're APPLIED in the voke environment. (aka relevant). my daughter, the "promising" one, as older her brothers tease her, literally sleeps through her public school classes, (i know, because i receive the behavioral reports), yet can't be touched for a discipline problem or dinged on her grades because she aces all the tests anyway. the oldest, away at liberal arts college, discussing with me how his classes are really just repeats of his senior year in high school? he's going back to work at dunkin donuts for the summer to earn spending money for next year.
i ask you--who is being better educated?
and i ask you, why should we be shunting our best and our brightest into this "college track" to nowhere, and penalize them for being bright enough to want what the vokes are selling?
yeah, colleen, i agree, the education offered by vokes should be available to those you're complaining can't get in. it's just that you and me disagree COMPLETELY on the circumstances. i say the education offered by vokes should be available to ALL, not just some bizarrely-privileged subset of kids who don't bother showing up for school every day, and are disruptive when they do.
we're committing societal suicide if we don't.
(and props to chris camire of the sun for the well-written and compelling story!)