Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Failing grade

The failing of the public education system.

In my humble (but sometimes noisy) opinion, one of the failings of the Public Education System in Kentucky, is the failure to equip our youth for life beyond High School. Each phase of our live is, in part, preparing us for the next. We learn to walk and talk, do the potty thing(some here at ATC are still working on their aim), and to work and play well with others. All of this prepares us for Elementary School. Elementary school prepares us for Middle School. Middle School prepares us for High School.

High School, ideally, prepares us for college or life beyond school. In many cases it works. In a growing number of cases, it does not work. I realize, at some point, a student must come to the realization of real life after school. This happens with the cooperation of schools and parents. I am a strong proponent of the 'learn to earn' ratio. Somewhere, students has to understand their "learn limit" is directly proportional to their "earn limit."

Teaching in a Vocational School is enlightening. For the most part we are shipped the students which do not excel in a regular classroom environment. It is as if we are the 'miracle' workers. We are called on to reach what the others cannot reach. We have to find the key to educating these students. We have to prepare them for "NEXT".

As I listen to my students, I can see that the majority of them are walking out of high school without a clue as to what real life is all about. I can see how my 27 years of actual construction experience is going to come in handy here.

I am preparing a small percent of the future. It can be an overwhelming task. One student at a time, that is the key.

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