26 August 2013

The Educational Establishment Might Want To Refocus

A number of Civil War bloggers who are also professional educators spend a lot of their time chasing neo-Confederates and Facebook posts all over the internet. They often lament that they must do so to correct the errors of those they're chasing. They tend to go after the low-hanging fruit - anything else would probably prove too much of a challenge for them. Recent revelations about the industrial educational complex indicate these folks might want to refocus their energies.

Quoting from an NBC News Report:
Just a quarter of this year's high school graduates who took the ACT tests have the reading, math, English and science skills they need to succeed in college or a career, according to the testing company.

The numbers are even worse for black high school graduates: Only 5 percent are fully ready for life after high school. 
As the report notes, this information comes from the non-profit educational research organization, ACT. You can read the dismal report here. It borders on the criminal.

Then again, maybe there are better things to do with one's time than prepare for a traditional college education:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that only 20 percent of U.S. jobs require a bachelor's degree or more. About another 10 percent require some post-high school instruction, including an associate's degree. Against this need, the United States is already producing a workforce with about 30 percent holding a bachelor's degree and another 10 percent with an associate's degree.
The BLS breakdown for 2010 shows: 3.1 percent of jobs required a professional degree (law, medicine) or a Ph.D.; 1.4 percent, a master's degree; 15.5 percent, a bachelor's degree; 5.6 percent, an associate's degree; and 5.2 percent, some schooling beyond high school, including some college.
 And . . .
With an increase in the number of bachelor's degrees comes a decline in their value. This will have adverse effects on the future of colleges because many students may decide to opt out of higher education altogether.

The good news is that there are an increasing number of alternatives to the traditional college. With more online education and independent certification of competencies, people will be evaluated on the basis of their actual knowledge and skills and not on their paper credentials. [What a novel idea.] Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban encourages students to take online courses. He says, "I want the best and brightest, not a piece of paper."
More here from the American Thinker.


Robert Moore said...

Hi Richard,

To some degree, I think we've discussed this at one point in the last year, regarding some of the banter over neo-Confederate chasing and etc. I'd even say that the reverse is just as bad. Not that there are those who are "neo-Yankee" chasing... although, to some degree, this might technically be the case.

Frankly, I think we stand to be in a bad position of reaping what has been sown, and, as the Web goes, we have a choice... either we lay down more garbage and clutter... including vitriol... or we lay down quality material for better results. I think we need to take a serious look at what and who we are feeding.

There's so much negative banter everywhere (and, it goes without saying... even outside the Civil War-related... that I'm beginning to believe that we shouldn't be surprised about the direction in which it appears we are heading. It's one big free-for-all Jerry Springer show.

People who create content for the Web (and even dialogue) have a choice, and I wonder if there's any realization that there is also an awareness of responsibility in the same. Either we sit back and just wait to see what all this negativity brings about, or we start altering the course by our actions, in our words and what we put on the Web. It probably sounds all "Boy Scout"-like of me to say it this way, but we really need to start driving the way we want to see things and stop feeding this sort of "machines" by giving them more attention.

Just my opinion.



Ghost of Piedmont said...

I've noticed many have taken to insulting or simply ignoring (on threads they are otherwise happy to respond to comments on) effective counterpoint comments

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Robert - I agree with much of what you've said. I'm often torn - Should I just ignore the pretend scholars acting juvenile and simply write or push back at their silliness.

Right now, I'm in a push back mood. I do, nonetheless, appreciate your perspective and reasonableness.

Thanks for the comment.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Ghost - of course. Thus the lust for the low hanging fruit.

ropelight said...

Want to improve the education system? One way is to insist the teachers all take the reading, math, English, and science ACT tests right along with their students, no exceptions. The results will be uniquely informative, guaranteed.

Flunk the test, join the ranks of the unemployed, right along with the other dimwits.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Rope - I like it! That would go a long way in proving the value of a traditional college education, wouldn't it? ;-)