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AceofPens
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04 Jan 2018, 10:14 pm

You can thank the Obama administration for the lack of attention to trade school vocations. His aim coming into office was to raise the rate of students entering college to 60%. He was ambitious, and he failed, but some results can be found in the further degradation of trade courses. Regardless of what options should be available to non-academic students, though, we certainly do need more college graduates. Other countries have much higher rates and are doing better economically as a result. We're already playing catch-up. That said, I don't think we need to remove the option of vocational studies from high schools, which can only be detrimental to the students who need that option in lieu of academic pursuits. There should be a balance, hopefully including the steady rise of college attendance. Have you looked at the Finland public school system? It might be similar to what you'd like, and it certainly works for them.


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04 Jan 2018, 10:24 pm

AceofPens wrote:
You can thank the Obama administration for the lack of attention to trade school vocations. His aim coming into office was to raise the rate of students entering college to 60%. He was ambitious, and he failed, but some results can be found in the further degradation of trade courses. Regardless of what options should be available to non-academic students, though, we certainly do need more college graduates. Other countries have much higher rates and are doing better economically as a result. We're already playing catch-up. That said, I don't think we need to remove the option of vocational studies from high schools, which can only be detrimental to the students who need that option in lieu of academic pursuits. There should be a balance, hopefully including the steady rise of college attendance. Have you looked at the Finland public school system? It might be similar to what you'd like, and it certainly works for them.


It started with Bush, No Child Left Behind.



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04 Jan 2018, 10:26 pm

AceofPens wrote:
You can thank the Obama administration for the lack of attention to trade school vocations. His aim coming into office was to raise the rate of students entering college to 60%. He was ambitious, and he failed, but some results can be found in the further degradation of trade courses. Regardless of what options should be available to non-academic students, though, we certainly do need more college graduates. Other countries have much higher rates and are doing better economically as a result. We're already playing catch-up. That said, I don't think we need to remove the option of vocational studies from high schools, which can only be detrimental to the students who need that option in lieu of academic pursuits. There should be a balance, hopefully including the steady rise of college attendance. Have you looked at the Finland public school system? It might be similar to what you'd like, and it certainly works for them.


There should definitely be balance between the two. The Finland public school system has great ideas.



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04 Jan 2018, 10:28 pm

starcats wrote:
AceofPens wrote:
You can thank the Obama administration for the lack of attention to trade school vocations. His aim coming into office was to raise the rate of students entering college to 60%. He was ambitious, and he failed, but some results can be found in the further degradation of trade courses. Regardless of what options should be available to non-academic students, though, we certainly do need more college graduates. Other countries have much higher rates and are doing better economically as a result. We're already playing catch-up. That said, I don't think we need to remove the option of vocational studies from high schools, which can only be detrimental to the students who need that option in lieu of academic pursuits. There should be a balance, hopefully including the steady rise of college attendance. Have you looked at the Finland public school system? It might be similar to what you'd like, and it certainly works for them.


It started with Bush, No Child Left Behind.


Bush's brother came up with the disaster known as FCAT and now FSA.



HistoryGal
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05 Jan 2018, 9:08 am

The world really needs more bankers and lawyers.....



ladyelaine
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05 Jan 2018, 10:39 am

HistoryGal wrote:
The world really needs more bankers and lawyers.....


LOL



kraftiekortie
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05 Jan 2018, 10:42 am

We, in the US, do rely too much on academics, and not enough on "trades."



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05 Jan 2018, 10:59 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
We, in the US, do rely too much on academics, and not enough on "trades."


Yep. Academics won't fix your toilet or repave your street.



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05 Jan 2018, 11:07 am

There is a certain stigma attached to "not attending college."

And the "trade schools" here are usually substandard when compared to most colleges.

One should research the vocational aspects of the UK educational system.



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05 Jan 2018, 11:19 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
There is a certain stigma attached to "not attending college."

And the "trade schools" here are usually substandard when compared to most colleges.

One should research the vocational aspects of the UK educational system.


I wish people could get over that stigma because it is not the end of the world if someone decides to pursue a vocation instead of going to college.

I'm sure there would be a lot less people dropping out of college if they weren't pressured to go in the first place.

I'm sure the UK probably has better vocational training than the US.



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05 Jan 2018, 6:53 pm

ladyelaine wrote:
AceofPens wrote:
I don't think that system would work in the States, or at least not on a broad scale. Apart from sex ed, which would definitely face a lot of backlash from parents with religion-based preferences (the South might secede all over again :lol: ), driver's ed is not something that every student needs. People in large cities will more often take public transport, for example, and Americans aren't buying cars very often anymore with the rise of services like Uber and Lift. As for trade courses, there's a reason so many schools are cutting back on it these days. Economists have been saying for a while that, unless we push more young Americans towards higher-level degrees, the US is going to fall behind in the global competition. That's not to say that trades are irrelevant. They are and will continue to be an important part of any economic force, but college education has to become the norm if we're to keep up. Financial education, though, I can get behind.


Not everyone is college material. Many people are better suited for trades and vocational training. There aren't enough jobs to go around for every person that gets a college degree and college degrees would lose their value if everyone had them.


More and more I'm learning how true this is. Just today I learned that 50% (that's half) of all US adults have a maximum reading level of an eighth grader. And we're supposed to be one of the most powerful first-world countries in the world.


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05 Jan 2018, 7:05 pm

StarTrekker wrote:
ladyelaine wrote:
AceofPens wrote:
I don't think that system would work in the States, or at least not on a broad scale. Apart from sex ed, which would definitely face a lot of backlash from parents with religion-based preferences (the South might secede all over again :lol: ), driver's ed is not something that every student needs. People in large cities will more often take public transport, for example, and Americans aren't buying cars very often anymore with the rise of services like Uber and Lift. As for trade courses, there's a reason so many schools are cutting back on it these days. Economists have been saying for a while that, unless we push more young Americans towards higher-level degrees, the US is going to fall behind in the global competition. That's not to say that trades are irrelevant. They are and will continue to be an important part of any economic force, but college education has to become the norm if we're to keep up. Financial education, though, I can get behind.


Not everyone is college material. Many people are better suited for trades and vocational training. There aren't enough jobs to go around for every person that gets a college degree and college degrees would lose their value if everyone had them.


More and more I'm learning how true this is. Just today I learned that 50% (that's half) of all US adults have a maximum reading level of an eighth grader. And we're supposed to be one of the most powerful first-world countries in the world.


That might explain why many people can't handle college. How can they if they don't have a college reading level?



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05 Jan 2018, 10:32 pm

ladyelaine wrote:
StarTrekker wrote:
ladyelaine wrote:
AceofPens wrote:
I don't think that system would work in the States, or at least not on a broad scale. Apart from sex ed, which would definitely face a lot of backlash from parents with religion-based preferences (the South might secede all over again :lol: ), driver's ed is not something that every student needs. People in large cities will more often take public transport, for example, and Americans aren't buying cars very often anymore with the rise of services like Uber and Lift. As for trade courses, there's a reason so many schools are cutting back on it these days. Economists have been saying for a while that, unless we push more young Americans towards higher-level degrees, the US is going to fall behind in the global competition. That's not to say that trades are irrelevant. They are and will continue to be an important part of any economic force, but college education has to become the norm if we're to keep up. Financial education, though, I can get behind.


Not everyone is college material. Many people are better suited for trades and vocational training. There aren't enough jobs to go around for every person that gets a college degree and college degrees would lose their value if everyone had them.


More and more I'm learning how true this is. Just today I learned that 50% (that's half) of all US adults have a maximum reading level of an eighth grader. And we're supposed to be one of the most powerful first-world countries in the world.


That might explain why many people can't handle college. How can they if they don't have a college reading level?


Over my years teaching in higher education, I have seen many freshman students that just do not have the skill sets required to be successful in college. They flounder around for a few years before either gaining said skills or move on to other things. Either way, it ends up costing them more time and money. Reading ability is but one skill needed to survive in college.

At one of my universities that I taught at, we would screen incoming students for their math skills before they could be placed into chemical lab courses. If they did not have at least college algebra math skills on the screening test, they had to take remedial math courses until they could pass the screening test. Most students going into the hard sciences had the required math skills, but many from other outside majors did not. So, we had many outside departments that were trying to get us to change that rule to "help" their students get into our courses, even though the students often failed due to the lack of said skills. We were required to teach certain topics that were math heavy to keep our accreditation with other universities. That left a large rift with other non-science departments, since they thought we were being "too hard" on their majors. But, we were trying to prevent their students from failing unnecessarily. In the end, who was really the bad guy?

This topic relates to the future of some of my family members. I have two nephews that attempted to go to college. One was very bright (IQ 140+) but got into drugs and is now lost to that world. I tried to stop it, but in the end it was his choice to do so with his life. What a waste... The other one struggled with learning disabilities (dyslexia and poor math skills) and decided on his own that college was not for him. He is now learning to become a licensed plumber via hands on training and I am proud of him. He will go far with what he has learned.



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05 Jan 2018, 11:03 pm

QuantumChemist wrote:
ladyelaine wrote:
StarTrekker wrote:
ladyelaine wrote:
AceofPens wrote:
I don't think that system would work in the States, or at least not on a broad scale. Apart from sex ed, which would definitely face a lot of backlash from parents with religion-based preferences (the South might secede all over again :lol: ), driver's ed is not something that every student needs. People in large cities will more often take public transport, for example, and Americans aren't buying cars very often anymore with the rise of services like Uber and Lift. As for trade courses, there's a reason so many schools are cutting back on it these days. Economists have been saying for a while that, unless we push more young Americans towards higher-level degrees, the US is going to fall behind in the global competition. That's not to say that trades are irrelevant. They are and will continue to be an important part of any economic force, but college education has to become the norm if we're to keep up. Financial education, though, I can get behind.


Not everyone is college material. Many people are better suited for trades and vocational training. There aren't enough jobs to go around for every person that gets a college degree and college degrees would lose their value if everyone had them.


More and more I'm learning how true this is. Just today I learned that 50% (that's half) of all US adults have a maximum reading level of an eighth grader. And we're supposed to be one of the most powerful first-world countries in the world.


That might explain why many people can't handle college. How can they if they don't have a college reading level?


Over my years teaching in higher education, I have seen many freshman students that just do not have the skill sets required to be successful in college. They flounder around for a few years before either gaining said skills or move on to other things. Either way, it ends up costing them more time and money. Reading ability is but one skill needed to survive in college.

At one of my universities that I taught at, we would screen incoming students for their math skills before they could be placed into chemical lab courses. If they did not have at least college algebra math skills on the screening test, they had to take remedial math courses until they could pass the screening test. Most students going into the hard sciences had the required math skills, but many from other outside majors did not. So, we had many outside departments that were trying to get us to change that rule to "help" their students get into our courses, even though the students often failed due to the lack of said skills. We were required to teach certain topics that were math heavy to keep our accreditation with other universities. That left a large rift with other non-science departments, since they thought we were being "too hard" on their majors. But, we were trying to prevent their students from failing unnecessarily. In the end, who was really the bad guy?

This topic relates to the future of some of my family members. I have two nephews that attempted to go to college. One was very bright (IQ 140+) but got into drugs and is now lost to that world. I tried to stop it, but in the end it was his choice to do so with his life. What a waste... The other one struggled with learning disabilities (dyslexia and poor math skills) and decided on his own that college was not for him. He is now learning to become a licensed plumber via hands on training and I am proud of him. He will go far with what he has learned.


Being able to do college level algebra is important for succeeding in college. Most people can't do math beyond the middle school level if that. My sister took a remedial math class at the college to prepare for college algebra and she failed it. Math is a great struggle for her and she can't get a two year degree in graphic design without passing college algebra. She is just gonna get a certificate for graphic design instead.



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06 Jan 2018, 9:23 am

The math screening and remedial classes are to do. Nobody should be upset about that since it helps students.



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06 Jan 2018, 11:06 am

HistoryGal wrote:
The math screening and remedial classes are to do. Nobody should be upset about that since it helps students.


You would think that but the other departments did not like that requirement because it cut down how fast they could push students through their coursework, whether or not they ended up graduating. The problem is that the university tied a major part of departmental funding to the number of students in each program and how many graduated from that department. Our classes tended to eliminate some of their students, so they saw it as a problem.

I used to teach a non-major, non-lab general chemistry course that was tailored for these students. Unfortunately, I had a group of self-indulged nursing students in that class complain how pointless it was for them to learn chemistry. So, for the final exam, a part of it was designed to get a point across to them. I set up specific problems involving finding the correct molarity of IV drug solutions that needed to be given to patients. The point was to keep the patient alive. Guess what? Very few of the nursing students could get that set of problems correct, yet a majority of the other majors did and thought it was fun to test this way. The nursing students tried to complain that it was not realistic, as they only administer solutions that are already prepared for them. I mentioned that someday they might have to know that information in the case of a real emergency, but they just ignored me and walked away.

I had quite a few "repeat offenders" from that area alone. The next year, the nursing department changed their requirements to a higher level of chemistry courses with labs and allowed the students to opt out in favor of a biology course instead. Most went the biology route after that. I do not have a problem with nursing students in general, most are very intelligent. Some of my best students were from that area. However, I do have a problem with students who become so self-entitled that they think they know everything just starting out. I would never want them to work on me, even if I am on my death bed.