January 9, 2013

HOW THE FAILURES OF K-12 EDUCATION ARE KILLING THE SKILLED TRADES:

“We have presidents and leaders who say every child should have the opportunity to go to college.

“Unfortunately, it sends the message to parents that if they don’t send their kids to college, they’re failing.”

“Now we’re saying, ‘Where are our electricians, auto mechanics, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) workers and CNC (computer numeric control) operators?’” Meeusen said.

He added, “We’ve ripped out all the shop classes and replaced them with calculus.” . . .

Racine Unified School Board President Dennis Wiser agreed students in this district are given scant exposure to the trades. A glaring example, he said, is the abundant, ongoing need for welders, as shown by job postings.

“We have no courses related to that, and we have not even considered them,” Wiser said. “I’m sure we could come up with many other examples.”

“We have far too many kids in the college track,” Wiser said, “and I can’t really figure out where it’s coming from except kids don’t see a lot of examples of people in the technical areas. Typically they don’t have relatives in those workplaces.”

So, Wiser added, youths see certain kinds of jobs on TV and workers at McDonalds — but not much else.

I discuss this very problem in The K-12 Implosion.