Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Taking Notes and Dropping Out

This from the 3 Farts got me thinking:

Taking Notes and Dropping Out

And Asher at the Guru's Handbook needs to jump into the discussion.

The main focus of high school education in 2009 is still preparing students for higher education (sending them to college). Our graduation requirements are still structured around the University of California's admissions requirements and the UC and CSU systems continue to be the tail that wags the dog of public high schools in California. But if Chris is right about his assessment of the devaluation of higher ed, then I think it's time we changed course at the high school level and focused on preparing our students for the world; a world that MAY include higher education for SOME (not ALL) of our students.

It's starting in California already with the Carl Perkins program and its focus on Career Technical Education. Students will soon be required to take CTE courses as part of their graduation requirement and that is a very good thing indeed. The problem is that many California public high schools are not yet prepared to offer appropriate CTE courses as the main focus of education has been on preparing ALL students for going to college. And with the budgetary issues in California, it seems like more classes are being cut, then are being created. The Perkins funding program helps, but the rules and guidelines are stringent and time consuming enough to make some school districts decide not to participate.

As the universities are forced to charge more and more for tuition fewer and fewer students will be able to afford to go. If theses students have been insufficiently prepared for the world of work by their high school education, where diplomas seem to be an entitlement, then they, and all of us, are in real trouble. Thoughts?

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