In conclusion, when do we see these types of global education comparisons from the media or critics of public education?
The reason for that NEVER answer is because four US presidents (two democrats and two republicans) along with forty-four US governors and 50 CEOs made a huge mistake starting in the 1980s when they left out vocational training as part of educational reform.
Instead of admitting the mistake, politicians and many Americans continue to use teachers and teacher unions as the scapegoat claiming that public education is broken. If you need proof, today, America has a high unemployment rate at the same time that millions of high-skilled, high-paying blue-collar jobs that do not require a college education but do require skilled vocational training go unfilled.
Recommendation: The US should seriously consider starting vocational programs, similar to Europe, that leads to graduation from its secondary schools—this means two programs that result in high-school graduation: academic and vocational. In my opinion, it is ridiculous to treat every student as if he or she is college material.
Mike Rowe testifies before the US Senate about the need for people that can fill jobs that require skilled trades. He is the host of a TV show called Dirty Jobs about the hard work done by tradesmen and skilled workers.
All we need to do is look at information from the US Census to see the truth.
In the United States by age 24, almost 90% of young adults have a high-school degree or its equivalent, a GED.
However, only 30.44% (72.56 million) of those young adults went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree, and of those that earned a BA degree, 7.94% (18.95 million) earned a Master’s degree and 3% (7.2 million) a Doctorate or professional degree.
In addition, according to the US Census, 76% of the population is age 19 or older. That means 165.7 million (70%) adult Americans did not move from the high school academic program to a college academic program.
Many of these adults may have benefited from a vocational program leading to high-school graduation and a high skilled, high paying blue-collar job, and unemployment in America today would be much lower while the economy would benefit from more Americans working, consuming and paying taxes.
Instead, those that did not go to college were tossed into the world of work, most with only an academic high-school degree, and no guidance or support from the public education system that was designed by Washington D.C.
Continued on September 5, 2012 in Not Broken! – Part 5 or return to Part 3
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.
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