So much money wasted!
The news has been full of the scheme to spend millions of dollars to get kids into elite colleges for which they may or may not be qualified. A great deal of money and a lot of conniving with sports’ coaches, college admission folks, and a crooked college admissions counselor. Clearly these folks crossed the line, but many millions are spent every year in what is considered legitimate encouragement to enroll an offspring in a premier college or university. It is okay to donate a building or two, perhaps a scholarship and don’t forget the totally legal test prep programs and advisors- all of which push hard for kids to go to college for their parents’ bragging rights if not their own.
Nationally we have the major academic push to prepare students for college and careers. Truthfully, the careers part of that equation is a misnomer. Schools are pushing kids to go to college and have a career after that. In the meantime, there are very important high-paying jobs that are going unfilled BECAUSE they do not require a college degree. For some reason we think a college degree opens the golden door to riches.
We need to prepare students for the skilled trades! Not only is our population aging but along with the general population are the people who build buildings, drive big trucks, install electric, repair plumbing- all of those things that not only literally build a nation but also repair a nation as homes and other buildings need attention. If we do not attend to these builders, each of us may be doing a great more DIY or paying very high prices for a limited number of people with those skills.
Most kids starting college today take six years to do what the older generation did in four. More importantly, 45% of students entering college never graduate. What becomes of them? They usually do not have a job skill. Sometimes they have filled their schedule with light weight courses such as “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame”. Yes, really, that is a 3-credit course. And besides being unemployed, they may also still be straddled with student debt.
Why? Whatever happened to good vocational training for students who are not interested in working behind a desk? Some people are catching on. In Massachusetts there is a waiting list for kids to get into the vocational technical high schools. I wonder how many of those schools were closed or discouraged with the race to get into college.
College is not the best choice for everyone. Even people who graduate are not necessarily winners. Fifty percent of law school grads do not get jobs practicing law even allowing for our country being the most lawsuit happy on earth. Not going to college is NOT a consolation prize; nor does it mean the student was too dumb to go to college. It might mean that the student and her family were not interested in wasting money on ego and decided to use the talent to build a better career.