Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Washington Post talks to some college students about their high school experiences. They seem united in their disapproval of schools as dividing kids into those bound for college and those not. I agree with the kids who say it isn't so bad a thing for kids to decide that college is not for them. There are many honorable and relatively decent-paying careers that do not need a college education and I would like to see high schools do more to open up that sort of training to students. Too many kids drop out because they are the square pegs that won't fit into the round holes that the college prep classes tries to force them to be. They end up thinking of themselves as failures because they can't analyze 19th century poetry or do Algebra II. But they're not failures and there is a lot high schools could do to help them. I always remember a student I had who was a very poor reader and writer. She wanted to run her own beauty parlor. What she needed were classes in accounting, business, advertising, and even hair-dressing. That would have helped her so much more to achieve her dreams instead of the constant negative feedback she received for doing so poorly in the college prep classes.