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Topic: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com
Replies: 4   Last Post: Apr 1, 2014 10:54 AM

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Bob

Posts: 190
Registered: 12/3/04
RE: Jobs and Skills and Zombies - NYTimes.com
Posted: Apr 1, 2014 10:54 AM
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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:insrisg@buffalo.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 9:04 AM
To: nyscollmath@mathforum.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.



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