Education, politics, and anything else that catches my attention.
Based on the timing, I assume you heard him on the radio this morning. Personally, I think that it's a good thing to have kids go to college ... and to allow them the encouragement and education to get there, if they want. But, it's equally important not to denigrate trade schools, community colleges, and industrial arts classes. And, it's really important to actually require students who go to 4 year colleges to actually meet standards -- so that we don't have to fund remedial writing and math skills at college prices and do a little better job of weeding out those who would benefit much more from other options and lowering the costs for those who make the cut.
May not be the worst advice ever, but certainly very biased and judgmental.
In the poor counselor's defense, they were almost certainly following explicit policy where they weren't reflecting a more general, societal elitism. It'd take a fairly courageous and perceptive counselor to ignore both those forces in favor of giving their best advice. Sadly, courage isn't the sort of virtue you can list as a job requirement so most counselors are going to put their interest in staying out of hot water with their boss ahead of the interests of the students.
I have an MBA and I make a good living as a software developer. My younger brother trained as a plumber and then on HVAC. He is now a millionaire with 50 employees and two homes (paid for). Supply and demand are laws of nature.
allen, your defense is admirable ... but knowing my share of counselors, I doubt it was policy. It's just how most educators believe.
Well max, I did write that courage isn't the sort of quality you can list as a job requirement and it wouldn't be much of a virtue if were easy. My underlying point though is that the public education system, in making it clear that counselors should try to aim every kid at college, has made what ought to be reasonable advice into an act requiring courage. Worse, it's an act of courage with no payoff but personal satisfaction. The counselor who steers a kid into, say, plumbing will get beaten up by his superiors and probably won't be thanked by the kid's parents. Oh, and I'd be surprised if steering kids towards college prep, regardless of the likelihood that's the right course for them, isn't policy in many, many school districts. It may not be explicit and clear policy but it's policy nonetheless.
allen ... if you're saying that this mindset stems from administration, I agree. Administrators and school boards get kudos from their college acceptance rates. And there is definitely a push to rush kids through a college prep path, whether they are inclined to it, or not. The first things that get cut in the budget are the arts and trades classes ... which I think is horrible. How do you know what you're good at if you don't see a variety of things? No one, though, has ever told me what poster to put up in my classroom. I think you're re right about the parents though ...you don't win points by telling them their child might want to consider a trade school.
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