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(News Daily)   One-third of high school graduates are not college ready. The rest already know how to do a keg stand   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, high schools, entrance exams, keg stand, Pacific Islanders, information technology, colleges  
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1956 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Aug 2013 at 1:44 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-08-27 01:50:36 AM  
5 votes:
It's almost as if teaching test-taking doesn't educate kids as well as educating them does.
2013-08-27 01:47:57 AM  
5 votes:
I wonder how many thousands of classroom hours could be reclaimed if we reintroduced the concept of "holding back" students who had failed to make adequate academic progress in a given year and require them to repeat the material until they had achieved sufficient mastery.
2013-08-27 01:46:36 AM  
2 votes:
"Almost a third of this year's high school graduates who took the ACT tests are not prepared for college-level writing, biology, algebra or social science classes, according to data the testing company released Wednesday."

Sounds about right, not everyone needs to be a rocket scientist, the world needs ditch diggers too.
2013-08-27 05:38:34 PM  
1 vote:

Worldwalker: this "English" and "history" stuff wouldn't make him any more money, so it was a waste in his eyes.

It is a waste.

CS degree here. I was required to take "Poetry" and "Spy Fiction" as part of my major and they were a waste of time. Don't get me wrong, they were also easy A's (although you wouldn't know that with all the English majors getting nothing higher than a C), but essentially a waste of time.

In the *real world*, you know, outside of Starbucks... I really could have used a technical writing class, and my school offered it as an option... just not to my major.

What schools *need* are classes appropriate to your major... a technical writing class *should* be required for a CS degree... history? sure... But why aren't there classes required for CS majors in history which go into the history of software and hardware? That would solve *tons* of problems with older programmers and technicians interacting with younger hires.

And it would cut the "learning curve" out of hiring a recent CS or IS graduate.

But in the meantime, I know a lot of "Poetry" and can point you to some good "Spy Fiction" novels.
2013-08-27 09:28:09 AM  
1 vote:

TuteTibiImperes: Earning a high school diploma should mean that you'd be capable of handling a college education.


Earning a high school diploma should mean that you demonstrated you were capable of a high school education.

There are plenty of people who do perfectly well in high school who are not smart enough, not learning-oriented enough, not something enough, for college. Would you deny those people the high school diplomas they have earned because they're not college material?

We need three things:

One, first and foremost, we need to regain our respect for skilled trades. And it's not just about how much money someone can make (though if you've ever had to hire a plumber on a weekend, you may wonder why you thought that being a middle manager was a good job!) but respect for their knowledge, their skill, their dedication, and so on. Instead, we treat the skilled trades like they're some sort of shameful alternative for people who can't hack it in the "real world" of college degrees in Nursing Home Administration or Hotel & Restaurant Management. (yes, those are real, and shouldn't be)

Second, colleges should not be giving out degrees in "Hotel & Restaurant Management", etc. Those are vocations, not educations. Those should be the province of vocational schools. This would return colleges to their focus on education, and simultaneously lift the image of vocational schools. Not only does everybody not need to go to college, but a lot of the people who do go to college major in things that shouldn't be taught in college.

Third, we need a multi-faceted post-secondary system to teach the right people the right things. There should be technical institutes for the engineers and programmers, trade schools for the electricians and plumbers, vocational schools for the hotel managers and nursing home administrators, business school for the managers and entrepreneurs, and so on. Colleges should teach the more abstract subjects (history and science, for example) and impart an education not tied to a vocation. Why yes, this would mean that a lot of people with certificates in plumbing or civil engineering or marketing would be more immediately employable than college graduates. Why is this a problem? See "first" above.

And finally, we need to re-establish a respect for education. Today, there is very little. Most people are interested in the most effective way of making money, not in learning for its own sake. The descendants of people who read the few books they owned cover to cover, over and over again until the pages fell out, are immersed in riches of knowledge that they ignore to watch Jersey Shore. A friend of mine, a very intelligent friend, was unhappy about having to take any classes that were not directly related to computer programming in college; this "English" and "history" stuff wouldn't make him any more money, so it was a waste in his eyes. And we see the results in the world around us. People with no knowledge of the past, for example, are making decisions for the future -- decisions which they think are "new" and "innovative" but would, if one looked back in time, be seen to have already been tried. Without education, without understanding, voters are at the mercy of every demagogue who says something that sounds good. The current state of our society, and especially our government, shows hwo badly wrong that can go.

By the way, in response to an earlier post, no, education should not be "separate but equal" -- it should be separate and unequal. Some kids are going to absorb every bit of information put in front of them and want more. Some are going to struggle to learn the simplest things. Trying to teach them both the same way, at the same time, leads to at least one group getting an inadequate education -- either the better students are left adrift while the focus is on the poorer ones, or the poorer students are left behind while the needs of the better ones are addressed, or both are ignored to focus on the students in the middle.

We don't do that with school sports teams -- there's varsity, junior varsity, etc., for a reason, and that reason is that some kids are better at sports than others. Nobody imagines that all of them would have varsity-level sports skills if they were just coached properly. We recognize that the kid who's a natural-born athlete is going to be better in sports, given equal coaching and desire, than the kid who isn't, and the kid who was born with no legs doesn't have much chance of making the football team. People have different capabilities. Take me, back in high school ... no matter how much you coached me, no matter how much you motivated me, I was never going to be a star athlete. Injuries aside (I'm the only woman I know with an old football injury!) I just don't have the physique for it. I liked running, for instance, but I don't have the fast-twitch muscles to be a sprinter, and my legs are mounted just slightly wrong to be a top long-distance runner. It would be ridiculous to keep trying to make a runner out of me while leaving the kids who could sprint and whose legs were ideal for distance adrift because, y'know, No Athlete Left Behind, everyone has to be equal on the sports field. Equal opportunity does not mandate equal results.

The whole idea of "mainstreaming" is driven by parents who want to pretend their child is just like every other child, even though he manifestly isn't. I suspect that's partly because there is this ideal of what is "right" and everyone wants their child to match it. They say that students in a class that is focused on a less academically capable child will learn compassion. That's not what they're to learn; they're there to learn academic subjects. Disregarding mathematics and history in favor of "compassion" may feel good, especially to the parents of the child in question, but it's hurting 29 kids and doing very little to help the 30th. All the 29 really learn is that some people get special privileges, and they should look for ways to get some of those privileges for themselves -- which is why, for example, you get "standardized" tests which aren't standardized at all, because fully half the students have found ways to be allowed extra time to finish them, etc. That's not good for anyone, either.

We need to separate the concepts of education and vocation. Hotel & Restaurant Management is the latter, not the former. It's like plumbing, though probably less rigorous in terms of knowledge and skill. We need to establish (or convert) more vocational schools to teach such vocations, and we need to grant them the same respect we now, for some incomprehensible reason, do when their certification says "college" but not when it says "vo-tech". And each and every person needs to care about education, which is a different thing entirely than schooling.
2013-08-27 08:05:18 AM  
1 vote:
Not everyone needs to go to college!!  If everyone went to college and got a PhD, all that would mean is that a Doctor is picking up your garbage, and a Doctor is snaking your drain, and you get to say "Yes Doctor, I do want fries with that."
2013-08-27 02:59:24 AM  
1 vote:

Gyrfalcon: HotWingAgenda: Most of the people I knew in college were not ready for college. Most of the people I know now, who finished college at least a decade or two ago and moved onto Masters degrees and Juris Doctorates, still aren't ready for college.

When I was in high school, about to head for college, about 10% of all grads were even planning on going to college. That was in 1980. Now, if you figure that another 20% were likely as prepared as I was, but not intending to go, that leaves another two-thirds who were both unprepared and had no plans at all to even try to go to college....just like today.

Which means that after 35 years of insisting that "all kids can go to college," college prep, AP classes, No Child Left Behind, and assorted other well-intentioned efforts to make every single child in America college ready....we've achieved exactly nothing. One-third of students are college material, and two-thirds are unable, unwilling, or uninterested in post-secondary education.

And that should be just fine with everyone. But for some reason, it isn't.

Earning a high school diploma should mean that you'd be capable of handling a college education.  That doesn't mean that everyone will, or that everyone should, but everyone should be capable.  It also doesn't mean that everyone should be able to go to Harvard or MIT, but that on some range between the Ivy League and Community College every high school graduate should have the necessary skills to continue his or her education at the next level if they choose to do so.
2013-08-27 02:01:50 AM  
1 vote:
And at least one third of college degrees are useless.
2013-08-27 02:00:18 AM  
1 vote:

Fjornir: I wonder how many thousands of classroom hours could be reclaimed if we reintroduced the concept of "holding back" students who had failed to make adequate academic progress in a given year and require them to repeat the material until they had achieved sufficient mastery.

The problem with that is that you end up with 16 year olds in 7th grade, which ends up just being disrupting for the students on the proper track.

Being able to place students with subpar performance or performance, or with chronic behavior problems into alternative schools and removing them from holding the rest of the students back would help.

Bringing accountability to the parents, along with education and financial resources for underprivileged families, so that more students had support and motivation at home towards educational achievement would help even more.

Of course, that all costs money, and apparently tax breaks for multimillionaires and megacorporations are more important.  We wouldn't want the execs at JPMorgan or Exxon to have to buy their suits off the rack or reduce their Thai hooker and civet coffee enema budgets would we?
2013-08-27 01:59:09 AM  
1 vote:
What's really scary is that their definition of "prepared" is from 18 to 23 points out of 36 (depending on section), and the two-third who were supposedly college-ready were the ones who passed only one out of four of those sections; only a quarter of the test-takers managed to accomplish that (very low) goal in all four sections.

Let that sink in:

Three-quarters of students taking the ACT failed at least one of the four sections.

Three quarters.

Three-quarters of the students taking a college admissions test weren't "college ready" in at least one of the four categories they were tested on.

This is not a good thing.
2013-08-27 01:52:26 AM  
1 vote:
this is the fruit of social promotion.  just fail the failures and the system will work.
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