« The Evolution of Bill Gates, Education Philanthropist | Main | Flânerie Lives! On Facebook, Sex, and the Cybercity »

January 31, 2012


The idea of internships is a good one. If it were augmented by a network of State sponsored, low cost Tech/Business schools much like the old Vo/Tech schools (with valid & credible accreditation, credits that would transfer, and genuine degree programs, not substandard ones of the current for-profits) existed in the 70s and 80s it would work for higher ed. This is the structural change needed now, not pithy, small, useless reforms.

Along with exposure to varied occupations, these programs need to be very specific with students about what skills they will have to master in order to pursue them. Math skills, in particular, have to be mastered in increments, and 8th grade is not too early to make sure kids (and parents) know that. The problem with many career and technical programs is not that they limit kids' aspirations, but that to even get into them you have to at grade level or above in math.

And, for kids who are not at grade level in math, we need to face the facts and provide also some training for jobs that don't require HS grad-level math. That's not class-biased tracking of kids; it's facing reality. For better mobility for lower-income kids, the real answer has to come earlier with beefed-up math and reading instruction.

The comments to this entry are closed.