What I want is a little reality. These standards mainly diminish the breadth of the curriculum and through the associated testing relegate lower achieving students, though not necessarily less able students, to the basement.
You say "we don't think of education in those terms any more." The reference to a coal mining community and pushing pictures on a computer raise legitimate questions about your argument. We want more for our students than that, but we want more of what they can really use. In my opinion your perspective just demeans the needs and desires of the majority of our current students and future workers.
We teach math courses just about math with no connection to the real world. These are nothing but a dead end for most high school students. We're in a period of employment crisis in which high school graduates are being declassed and forced further down the job ladder by more prepared students who are themselves being declassed.
Companies don't need workers with poor job skills and they don't hire them. We need to get out of the classroom and have more internships for every student in which he or she has an opportunity to put what they've learned to use.
So to get back to the intent of the original statement -- this Core Curriculum is certainly not giving the majority the job skills and preparation they need, whatever job that might be.
It's also not helping students prepare for college, where the cost for many already gives a slim return on their investment and leaves them in debt for decades. It's a new world and we better get our heads out of the sand and catch on.
Accepting that reality is the first step to solving the problem. Reality!
-----Original Message----- From: Gerry Rising [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 9:04 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: Bob Subject: Re: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com
On 4/1/14 12:21 AM, Bob wrote: > What do these standards offer them? Nothing really, and definitely no > keys to unlock some success in the real world of work, a world I > sometimes think we like to ignore. No and the education we try to provide our students includes conjugating verbs, reading literature with understanding, learning to balance chemistry equations and many other things, none of which "will help them" in the sense Bob's message suggests.
So what does Bob want? Job skills? Just what are they? The kind of "entry level skills" needed for MacDonald's are taught in primary school: press the right picture on the cash register.
In this regard I recall a Pennsylvania school principal with whom I took an NYU graduate course. His school was in a coal mining town and he argued for a basic - job skills - education because his students would just go on to "careers" in the minesand local stores like their parents. Surely we don't think of education in those terms any longer.
The teach jobskills argument belongs among the April 1 challenges.