Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cat Comments

While I was out dealing with a broken tooth the folks at Tiny Cat Pants jumped on yesterday's post about high school and have gone on at great length about the renewal of a suggestion made almost 60 years ago regarding the value of high schools. If you're interested in education issues you will find some valuable (and not so valuable) comments there. I should probably have provided a bit more commentary instead of assuming that folks would find the idea intriguing and be willing to provide their own point of view and be willing to discuss it. If I had perhaps all those page views would be showing up in MY Adsense check. :-)

There are a couple of things in the comments section there that should probably be cleared up:

I NEVER suggested, or even thought, that ‘most kids shouldn’t have access to a high school education’ as Samantha Y wrote or that it’s just for the ‘best and brightest’ as Aunt B starts all this with. I’m all for them having a high school education–I just don’t think it has to be obtained via the current system.

For years I've said that if the public has a responsibility to provide an education we need to decide what that education is and where society's obligation ends. To date we've only half defined the obligation as 6 to 17 years old inclusive (or until you get into so much trouble we throw you out) and some end of course tests. However, they can't just leave after they're 18 and have passed the end of course tests. They still have to warm a seat. This only ensures employment for adults and frustration for many students. You can't even test for your GED in this state until you're 18, 17 with a waiver. What's the reason for that? Does that protect students or the system?

I believe that once a student obtains that education they ought to be cut free to go on with their life. If that means more academics, or trade school or working in the family business until you figure it out, fine. If they're still minors, btw, parents would still be responsible for their behavior. I don't see any upside to compelling a person who has obtained the education to continue to be compelled to attend school. I see a big upside to giving students a specific goal to meet and rewarding that effort with their freedom.

So it is clearer? Kay Brooks supports educating children. Maybe not in the way, shape or form others insist is proper. It's the results she's most interested in, not the method.


din819go said...

Well said and I agree!

dolphin said...

This is all good and well except it seems to contradict your previous post.

In your previous post you say "academics isn't for everyone." Here you say academics are for everyone, they just shouldn't be constrained by age (in otherwords, if you get your academics at a younger age, you can move on). Which is it? Are academics for everyone or aren't they?

You may have incorrectly stated your opinion in the previous post, but you were not misunderstood. You were very clear.

Kay Brooks said...

I'll clarify.

There is a base education that, if at all possible, everyone should have down solid: Arithmetic, reading, writing, consumer math, civics and history. And wrote: I believe that once a student obtains that education they ought to be cut free to go on with their life.

When I said academics isn't for everyone I meant higher maths and sciences, literature, music and art classes, etc. All that being over and above that 'base education.'

Does that clear up the 'contradiction'?

dolphin said...

Well I don't know if it clears up the contradiction as it still sounds like your saying that some kids ought not to go to high school, but it clarifies your position.

As someone who didn't choose a career path until after being exposed to the "higher learning," I'll same that I am appreciative that I wasn't told that I had to choose what I wanted to do with my life at age 12. In short, I understand your position better, but still disagree with it.

JJ Ross said...

You were told exactly what to do with your life at age 12 and then made to do it -- much younger than that actually, by a public with ulterior motives that did not know or care about you as an individual.

Go to school, stay in your seat all day wearing the school colors, buy the stuff we say to do what we tell you, when we tell you, because you CAN'T choose anything for yourself.

And for all of that lack of choice, apparently School failed even to teach you the difference between "a career path" and higher education anyway. A waste all round . . .