Just Graduating Is Not Enough
Return to school is upon many and what can we reasonably expect from the schools and students? I do not apologize for being critical of parents who leave the education of their children to teachers who are very often only slightly more educated than the students, their college degree notwithstanding.
I went to school in the dark ages. We didn’t have computers; we didn’t have teachers making over $50,000. We didn’t have all of the failed programs teachers today insist are necessary for children to learn. We didn’t have the ritalin epidemic and we didn’t have ADHD.
We were in school to learn and there were few options for not doing same. We weren’t passed from one grade to the next because someone came up with the brilliant idea that failing students was harmful to their self-esteem. The color of my skin had nothing to with expectations and demands placed upon me to learn and complete the requisite work with a grade average commensurate to allowing me to be promoted to the next grade.
Books weren’t banned because they contained original period language and standards weren’t lowered to show a non-existent positive. History hadn’t been rewritten; we pledged allegiance to the flag; we celebrated Christmas; we openly prayed, and, as surprising as it might be, no one suffered harm from same.
But in many schools today, the children are only marginally less educated than the teachers.
According to ACT (The American College Testing Program), 60 percent of 2012 high school graduates are at risk of not succeeding in college and career. In ACT‘s newly released report, The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2012 they found:
More than a fourth (28 percent) of ACT-tested 2012 graduates did not meet any of the four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks in English, mathematics, reading and science, suggesting they are likely to struggle in first-year college courses in all four of those subject areas. Another 15 percent met only one of the benchmarks, while 17 percent met just two. In short, a total of 60 percent of test takers met no more than two of the four benchmarks. In comparison, only 25 percent of tested 2012 grads met all four ACT benchmarks, unchanged from last year.” (http://www.act.org/newsroom/releases/view.php?lang=english&p=2402)
The tragedy is that some parents don’t care whether their children are learning; other parents leave it all up to the schools and teachers. And then there are the parents who applaud themselves and their children for meeting a worthless academic standard that the bar was lowered on years before.
I can tell you that there are public school systems that are no longer teaching grade-school children to write in cursive (or long-hand as it was called when many of us were in school). There are public school systems where written essays by high school students are the equivalent of “See Spot run.”
I work in a policy and information-driven technical world. Linguistic ability and technical ability pursuant to being able to communicate and work with technical equipment are imperative. My point is, how will the children of today who are not home-schooled, private schooled, or the products of the few remaining public school systems that are actually teaching children, contribute intellectually in tomorrow’s global world?
I recall having an in depth conversation with a managing editor not so long ago. They spoke of how poorly equipped many young people right out of college actually are. We spoke about the lack of true, marketable skills they possess.
Many parents today have no real idea what their children face in the future. They have this misguided Pollyanna belief that their children will graduate from high school, go to college for what amounts to a degree in lollipop making or basket weaving–graduate and get a job making lots of money (the specific amount depends on the parent and/or child’s ability to fantasize).
Writing for MarketWatch.com, Quentin Fottrell paints a very grim picture for future graduates:
After commencement, a growing number [of] young people say they have no choice but to take low-skilled jobs, according to a survey released this week…And while 63% of “Generation Y” workers — those age 18 to 29 — have a bachelor’s degree, the majority of the jobs taken by graduates don’t require one, according to an online survey of 500,000 young workers carried out between July 2011 and July 2012 by PayScale.com, a company that collects data on salaries. (Trading Caps And Gowns For Mops; 8/22/12)
Part of the problem is that people have no clue how businesses and the real world work. They envision their children finishing school, getting a great job near them, and living happily ever after. The problem is that it doesn’t work that way.
Obama and others have convinced young people that they must go to college and that they can go on the old “go now, pay later” plan. And by the time they graduate college they are in debt from student loans and in credit card debt thanks to the card companies passing them out like candy to students.
Employment isn’t about skin color or gender: it is about marketable linguistic skills, marketable educational skills, marketable social skills, and marketable employment skills.
The race-mongers and political parasites will claim all kinds of injustice and call for more money to be spent. But in the final analysis money doesn’t educate people. Poorly prepared, poorly educated teachers produce poorly prepared, poorly educated students.
Parents who do not raise the bar of expectation for their children, parents who place sports over academics, and parents who are just clueless are condemning their children to the harshest of realities.
People may not like what I’ve said, especially teachers, but the statistics don’t lie–and neither does the job market.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here