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To Work at 16
The New york Sun ^ | 12/21/06 | JOHN McWHORTER

Posted on 12/21/2006 1:58:44 PM PST by globalwhiplash

"Did I mention that I'm a high school dropout?

Not that it has been much of a problem: I do have a bachelor's and some other degrees. After 10th-grade, I entered Simon's Rock Early College, affiliated with Bard, where students start college work at age 15 or 16. I missed the prom, thank God, and learned to drive a little late, but otherwise I'm doing pretty well.

The report on reforming our school system just released by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce urges that my experience be less unusual for American students. One of its main ideas is that mandatory schooling begin at age 3 and end after 10th-grade..."

(Excerpt) Read more at nysun.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: college; education; literature; workplace
Why are they keeping kids till 12th grade when they just don't care. If you're gonna have sex, drink booze, maybe get a job to support all those activities, and you got an IQ of 92, then you don't need high school.
1 posted on 12/21/2006 1:58:47 PM PST by globalwhiplash
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To: globalwhiplash

Don'tcha just hate these inconvenient laws and rules and stuff? With an IQ of 92, the world will beat a path to your stoop!


2 posted on 12/21/2006 2:00:46 PM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: globalwhiplash; Darksheare; darkwing104; MikefromOhio

Whoo-boy.


3 posted on 12/21/2006 2:01:33 PM PST by ARealMothersSonForever
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To: ARealMothersSonForever

Average IQ is by design 100. That doesn't mean much until you have to think.


4 posted on 12/21/2006 2:04:46 PM PST by globalwhiplash (so sad)
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To: globalwhiplash
They should bring back vocational/technical schools.

Say what you will about France, but they determine pretty early on which track(s) students should take, and students who are not academically inclined aren't given a bill of goods about how important a college education is. They are sent to schools where they learn skills that they are suited for.

5 posted on 12/21/2006 2:05:19 PM PST by kellynch ("Our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." -- Bernard Baruch)
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To: globalwhiplash

I'm leery of the psychologists and teachers unions getting their paws into younger kids. I can understand the underpriveleged (higher chance of bad parenting) going to school earlier, but not everyone.


6 posted on 12/21/2006 2:13:19 PM PST by dinoparty
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To: kellynch
They should bring back vocational/technical schools.

As an educator I totally agree. As to the argument that students are not mature or smart enough to choose a path, I say so we will choose one for them. Most of these students have unrealistic goals of being rappers or music producers anyway. In my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to force them into a vocation just in case they do not become the next famous whatever. May reduce the future welfare rolls.

7 posted on 12/21/2006 2:14:42 PM PST by WesternPacific
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To: globalwhiplash

I think it's a great idea. I'd love to see more option for 15-16 year olds. A lot of them want the education, but they don't want to deal with the slow, dumbed-down pace of today's classrooms. I was so bored in high school because I could master a lot of the information quickly, but we couldn't move on until the majority of the class got the concept. I really think the whole concept of schooling needs to radically change in our country.


8 posted on 12/21/2006 2:15:22 PM PST by kcbc2001
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To: WesternPacific

Would you agree that 75% of kids that do poorly in school simply DON'T CARE and nothing will make them learn?


9 posted on 12/21/2006 2:15:40 PM PST by RockinRight (Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. He's a Socialist. And unqualified.)
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To: RockinRight

75% is probably a low estimate.


10 posted on 12/21/2006 2:21:56 PM PST by WesternPacific
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To: RockinRight
Not caring doesn't necessarily mean they won't learn, it could just mean they don't like learning the school's way. I was frequently too busy reading history books and learning free form to be bothered with school work.
11 posted on 12/21/2006 2:21:57 PM PST by discostu (we're two of a kind, silence and I)
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To: kellynch
I am WAY leery of letting some "guidance counselor" with the IQ of a carrot and the politics of Stalin decide where 12 year olds should go to learn a living. I've run into too many so-called "educators" who I wouldn't trust with a sharp object.

To admire France because they force fit pegs into holes as Socialist parts of some grand government-run economic model is, well, A STEAMING COW PATTY!!!

12 posted on 12/21/2006 2:23:35 PM PST by jonascord ("Don't shoot 'em! Let 'em burn!...")
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To: globalwhiplash

Start school at three? What the heck are they going to do with those toddlers, drug them? Three is a great age for teaching kids one-on-one. It's not a good age for teaching them collectively.

Yet another reason to homeschool! We can be done at 16, too, and with less brainwashing.


13 posted on 12/21/2006 2:23:50 PM PST by JenB
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To: discostu

I did a fair amount of that myself.


14 posted on 12/21/2006 2:25:07 PM PST by RockinRight (Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. He's a Socialist. And unqualified.)
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To: discostu

My son is like that too.

I assume you turned out OK?

;-)


15 posted on 12/21/2006 2:26:28 PM PST by fanfan ("We don't start fights my friends, but we finish them, and never leave until our work is done."PMSH)
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To: kellynch
They should bring back vocational/technical schools.
 
Bring me up to speed.  Where did the vocational / technical schools go?  I hired a lot of people with assiciate degrees in electronics.  I have a grandson with an associate degree in aircraft mechanics from Embry/Riddle.  advertisments on TV for all kinds of technical schools, from massage therapy to computer sciences.  Oh, I forgot, my son has an associate degree in information technology, and is making a 6 figure income.
 
So when you say "They should bring back vocational/technical schools", I get confused.

16 posted on 12/21/2006 2:35:47 PM PST by Lokibob (Spelling and typos are copyrighted. Please do not use.)
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To: fanfan

It all seems to have worked out OK. Eventually I learned to do the things that bore me in life, though I still spend a lot more time learning whatever stuff I'm finding interesting today, I just do what I'm paid for first.


17 posted on 12/21/2006 2:36:00 PM PST by discostu (we're two of a kind, silence and I)
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To: globalwhiplash
Obviously, however, the solution is not to strand students with an eighth-grade education as it currently stands in America. Rather, education should be "front-loaded." In much less time than we take students' time up with now, they could be given a substantial but no-nonsense education tooled to preparing them to be productive citizens. This can be done without the pretense that any but a few Americans need to be plied with "book learning" over several years beyond this basic toolkit.

Sounds good.

The main reform: ending compulsory government schooling and funding for same.

18 posted on 12/21/2006 2:39:23 PM PST by secretagent
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To: globalwhiplash

I'm thinking that the longer kids stay in some public schools, the less educable they become.


19 posted on 12/21/2006 2:40:59 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: kcbc2001

I'm with you! I experienced the same thing in my school years and now I have a son who's in the same boat. He aces the tests but is soooo bored with doing the same classroom excersizes day after day, therefore doesn't do them. But by God those lamebrains in the school system know my child better than I do and think that he should be held back... wah????


20 posted on 12/21/2006 2:42:17 PM PST by g33k355 ("He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dare not is a slave.")
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To: WesternPacific
As to the argument that students are not mature or smart enough to choose a path, I say so we will choose one for them.

I disagree. Only the young person and their parents can make that decision. The state should not force kids into any skill or employment path. The state is not suited to maek that decision. Education is a lifelong process; schooling is not. We have no idea what a kid who looks useless at 16 might become.

Having said that, kids that refuse to take school seriously, are a danger to others, or skip to often should simply be expelled. They should be made to pay for their own schooling, or find those charitable enough to do so, but they should not remain a burden on the taxpayer.

21 posted on 12/21/2006 2:44:16 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: kcbc2001
I really think the whole concept of schooling needs to radically change in our country.

I agree. We can start with, as John Taylor Gatto says, separating schooling from the idea of education.

22 posted on 12/21/2006 2:45:44 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: globalwhiplash

I quit school at 16. Decided I didn't need it. Don't regret it. Only thing I ever wanted to do was travel. Lived in 9 countries so far. Visited dozens more. Been to a lot of places the average person (where I'm from) would've needed a university degree type job to be able to afford to travel to. Enrolled in enough open campus university along the way to learn German fluently (hey, it helped me get a German doctor wife for a while ;-).

I like culture, sociology. I like living in a place, working there at a regular job. Studying the locals and their ways. Been doing it 16 years now and never had more than a basic job. I'll never be rich. But the experiences I've had are priceless to me.

That's just me though.


23 posted on 12/21/2006 2:49:04 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: kellynch
Say what you will about France, but they determine pretty early on which track(s) students should take, and students who are not academically inclined aren't given a bill of goods about how important a college education is.

Chalk that up to the legacy of American egalitarianism - we can't officially admit that there are students who are not academically inclined. Most other countries don't have a problem saying, "Uh...kid? Maybe medical school isn't for you."

24 posted on 12/21/2006 2:50:13 PM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: kellynch

Yes but who determines this....the state....no thanks.


25 posted on 12/21/2006 2:53:43 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: jonascord

I believe you mean a "steaming pantload"...:)


26 posted on 12/21/2006 2:54:00 PM PST by rlmorel (Islamofacism: It is all fun and games until someone puts an eye out. Or chops off a head.)
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To: WesternPacific

I agree.....mostly because at least the student COULD end up with a "skill" instead of heading out into the world wanting to be a pop singer and aimlessly wandering, even in college. Besides how many people really end their lives doing what they THOUGHT they would be doing when they were 17-18 years old?


27 posted on 12/21/2006 2:54:33 PM PST by goodnesswins (When a "religion" has no commandments.....no wonder no one wants to go to Church on Sunday!)
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To: Zack Nguyen

I think the child/parents should, however, be FORCED into making a DECISION!


28 posted on 12/21/2006 2:56:00 PM PST by goodnesswins (When a "religion" has no commandments.....no wonder no one wants to go to Church on Sunday!)
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To: kellynch
Say what you will about France, but they determine pretty early on which track(s) students should take, and students who are not academically inclined aren't given a bill of goods about how important a college education is. They are sent to schools where they learn skills that they are suited for.

Yes, but the American myth is that everyone should go to college, so they can get a good job, and parents don't like to hear that their child just isn't college material.

If they aren't doing well in math or English, however, the chances are slim....

29 posted on 12/21/2006 3:04:21 PM PST by Amelia (If we hire them, they will come...)
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To: Zack Nguyen
I disagree. Only the young person and their parents can make that decision. The state should not force kids into any skill or employment path. The state is not suited to maek that decision. Education is a lifelong process; schooling is not. We have no idea what a kid who looks useless at 16 might become.

In the other countries, students attend different schools based on their grades and test scores. If you want to go to college, you have to work hard enough and/or be smart enough to earn admission to the college preparatory program.

I suspect that if the U.S. were to implement a similar program, some of the students who just "get by" might put forth more effort, which would be a good thing.

30 posted on 12/21/2006 3:20:18 PM PST by Amelia (If we hire them, they will come...)
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To: Lokibob
First of all, a mechanic, for example, does not need a "degree."

Second of all, what I'm trying to say is that not enough kids are steered towards vocational programs. Too many guidance counselors AND PARENTS want their kids steered towards academic programs, regardless of whether or not their kid is suited for such programs.

Frankly, being an accountant shouldn't require a degree. Lots of jobs that now require degrees didn't in the past. I'm a librarian, and the only way a person can get a job in a good library is with a Master's degree. But it's just so ridiculous. There are lots of people working as librarians without the Master's but they have lots of experience. But without the degree they won't ever earn as much money. Even though they're doing the same work.

And that's part of the problem today -- liberals tell everyone they need a degree. They denigrate hamburger flippers, but can you imagine Bubba flipping his own burgers during his daily visit to McDonald's? Not everyone needs a college degree.

31 posted on 12/21/2006 5:47:46 PM PST by kellynch ("Our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." -- Bernard Baruch)
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To: Amelia

I disagree. Only the young person and their parents can make that decision. The state should not force kids into any skill or employment path. The state is not suited to maek that decision. Education is a lifelong process; schooling is not. We have no idea what a kid who looks useless at 16 might become.


If parents had a lot of different choices of paths to help their children walk, it would be different. It is usually just the college track, the slut track and not much more.


32 posted on 12/21/2006 7:58:41 PM PST by Chickensoup (If you don't go to the holy war, the holy war will come to you.)
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To: Chickensoup
The state should not force kids into any skill or employment path.

Currently, the state does not, at least to the extent that foreign school systems do.

In any case, whether here or in other countries, what ultimately determines the student's path is the student - that is, the student's abilities and work habits.

33 posted on 12/21/2006 8:07:30 PM PST by Amelia (If we hire them, they will come...)
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To: Amelia

In any case, whether here or in other countries, what ultimately determines the student's path is the student - that is, the student's abilities and work habits.



Yes. And they should be able to leave school after Grade 8 if they wish to pursue whatever path they choose.


34 posted on 12/21/2006 8:21:07 PM PST by Chickensoup (If you don't go to the holy war, the holy war will come to you.)
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To: Chickensoup

I have to disagree with you about letting kids go their own way at 14, when they're hormonal time bombs with more pimples than sense. Age 16 is fine.
Perhaps a smarter route may be to give the kid a greater say in what he/she focuses on in their last years of compulsory education, and emphasizing the benefits of a vocational education.
I see a little snobbery here in immediately throwing the term 'burger flipper' applied to non university educated people. I've got a master's, but for years I made less than my brother, a self-employed carpenter (120k/yr); my next-door neighbor is an electrical contractor (100k/yr), and my brother-in-law is a union ironworker (70k/yr). The idea that a vocational education is than desirable for anyone's sullen rat of a kid is foolishness.


35 posted on 12/21/2006 8:57:19 PM PST by capt.P (Hold Fast! Strong Hand Uppermost!)
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To: capt.P

I have to disagree with you about letting kids go their own way at 14, when they're hormonal time bombs with more pimples than sense. Age 16 is fine


I think the option needs to be there. Some kids just dont do school well. Some kids are meant to be manual labor.


36 posted on 12/21/2006 9:21:04 PM PST by Chickensoup (If you don't go to the holy war, the holy war will come to you.)
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To: Chickensoup
Some kids just dont do school well. Some kids are meant to be manual labor.

I think that's exactly my point.

However, in the U.S., partly because we base our educational tracks on "parental choice" rather than realistically looking at the students' achievement, abilities, and interests, we're still pretending to try to educate everyone for college.

Denigrating vocational education as "the slut track" doesn't help any, IMO.

If after 8 years, students aren't showing the interest or ability to go to college, I think they should be sent to apprenticeships, real jobs, or vocational training, as many other countries do.

If students who have the ability to do college work but don't work hard enough to succeed in a college preparatory curriculum later mature and decide they'd like that option, I think it should be available to them, but I think our system as currently constructed wastes the time and efforts of many teachers and students by pretending we're preparing everyone for college.

37 posted on 12/22/2006 6:03:25 AM PST by Amelia (If we hire them, they will come...)
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To: Amelia

Denigrating vocational education as "the slut track" doesn't help any, IMO.


NEVER would I consider Voc the slut track. The slut track is for those kids who have no direction, are not going anywhere and have not the brains nor the ambition past their next high.


38 posted on 12/22/2006 10:59:53 AM PST by Chickensoup (If you don't go to the holy war, the holy war will come to you.)
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