The rhetoric in my school is that every child needs to go to college. Instead of saying that we should prepare every student to have options after high school, the end-all, be-all has now become a college education.
Of course, this comes at a time when university prices in Washington State will have doubled in some schools inside of five years and in-state college spots are lessening.
Now, I must admit my bias. I don’t believe every student should go to college. I was a hair’s breadth from joining the military instead of enrolling in college, a worthy choice in my biased mind. Other members of family became electricians, carpenters, farmers, and engineers without ever stepping foot on a college campus.
And then, there’s this. Some intelligent and talented students are being encouraged to skip the university level completely.
An then, there’s this advocate of those “dirty jobs.” Why not go into trades which can support families, have steady employment, and do not require college teachings?
Options are out there.
Unfortunately, I’m watching the shrinking of our vocational programs in my school. Plus, some of the classes which remain are being reduced to almost meaningless sessions. TA classes have popped up (to maintain the vocational funding by having vocational classes) where the students meet once a week to fill out forms like how to file papers alphabetically, filling in the political structure of the school district, and other inanities. Another technology class has been reduced to playing video games, using a word processing document, and playing with PowerPoint.
What is happening to your programs? What is your school’s philosophy?