Saturday, May 12, 2007

F--- School?

Komo TV headlined a story from the Seattle Weekly titled, "F--- School." I couldn't resist reading that article.
The stories of the two teens in the article could be the stories of countless young people around our country. The inability to find value in education will remain an unpleasant aspect of humanity, but I will never understand the choices made by students like the ones profiled.

The article returns me to the question of responsibility, and who should take responsibility for a student's choices. We live in a society that values the freedom to choose, yet we force children to attend school. To what extent must society go in order to educate all students. NCLB wants us to teach every child to proficient levels, but not every child wants us to teach them.

In previous generations, an eighth grade education was sufficient. Children worked on the farms and contributed to society. The industrial age changed all of that. Maybe we need to change our perspectives. Is it possible that not every student needs to continue on into high school. Maybe we need to change our system in order to create successful individuals.
The current system of locking up kids for missing school doesn't seem to meet their needs. The question, and I don't have an answer, remains, what exactly does meet their needs.


At 5:25 PM , Blogger Dennis Fermoyle said...

Mr. McNamar, you probably haven't seen my most recent post, but do we ever seem to be on the same wavelength. I didn't see the F---School story; all I did was go to the grocery store and see some of my poorer students working, but our thought processes regarding these two totally different situations were pretty similar. All I can say is that great minds run in the same channel.

At 12:45 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't we have a strong technical education program in this country for kids who won't be going to college? And a business program like they had years ago. And why don't we start them in it by sophomore year and let them graduate out of that program and forget this whole high school rigamarole? College isn't for everyone and either is high school.

Problem is, many kids don't value education. So sad.

At 4:47 AM , Blogger CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Everyone needs an education, but the same education does not fit everyone.

At 9:52 AM , Blogger ms-teacher said...

In the district I live in and the district I teach in, the high schools in both require students to take courses meeting the A-G requirements of college. The intent is that this way all students will be able to attend college upon receiving their high school diploma.

Meanwhile they are cutting out programs such as woodshop and mechanics because they wrongly believe that all kids want to go to college. I think that by setting high schools up in this manner, it fails many students who at this time in their life have no desire to attend school beyond high school. I was one of those kids. It wasn't until after I was married with two little ones that I returned to school.

At 5:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read the article, but I don't think it's really that education isn't valued. It's that there isn't a belief that what is is taking place in schools is an education. I desperately wanted to drop out of high school at the end of the tenth grade, get my GED, and go to nursing school. Back in the day, that was a possibility.

In the end I did not do that. I suffered two more years in high school making unacceptable grades, I went on to make straight A's in colllege and ultimately got a useless advanced degree.

I wish I had stuck with plan A.

I have wondered if mandatory attendance until age 18 isn't really about keeping kids off the streets and or out of the job market rather than making sure they get an education.


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