Who’s idea was this…college thing?

Maybe there would be far less scandals about entering college if the child understood or believed in the education that they were receiving or were likely to get in college enough to make the move themselves.

In a recent article in USA Today, I was introduced to a term that I never heard before. It was Snowplow Parents. This article spoke about the parents of today clearing away obstacles from their children’s world, whether created by others or themselves even when they entered college. Which begs the question, “was it really the child’s choice to to in the first place?”

Maybe there would be far less scandals about entering college if the child understood or believed in the education that they were receiving or were likely to get in college enough to make the move themselves. They also would have to make the decision to keep up with all of the deadlines…themselves. This should happen without counselors and parents doing everything for them.

Then maybe, ust maybe, the kids who belonged in college would be the only ones there. What do you think?

College Admissions Scandal

Way back in time, college educations were for the elite. People would attend college as a status symbol. It wasn’t needed for success in the world. It was there for people who could afford it. It was a “class” thing and not about going to class to get ahead. That is definitely the crazy thing about this college admissions scandal.

Some of the biggest people involved in the scandal are those that already had success. If you take just one, Olivia Jade, for example…she had a business based on her look and celebrity. She also “threw her dad under the bus” by outing the fact that he took his tuition money and started a business that made his life what it is today. If that isn’t the purpose of college, then you shouldn’t be spending the money on it.

It seems that this degree is becoming less and less relevant and we are returning to a time when our own individual effort in creating value is what will ultimately make our success. This should be the biggest takeaway for the average person who is struggling with the college acceptance issue. I am speaking more of the individual accepting college as opposed to the college accepting the individual.

Schools prepare you for work

Let’s celebrate this school and its desire to prepare its students for life after school on their own terms.

Finally, a school is celebrating the triumph of graduating its students into the work force. This is what schools should be about. This article shows a school bucking the trend of celebrating academic accomplishments driven by college acceptance statistics.

Students in school should go directly into the workforce and earn money. They should find out while they are still young if it is enough money. The motivation for getting a higher paying job will also include information that you can’t get in school.

No one knows for sure if they will even like working in their chosen field. Quite often, their chosen field is not even entirely their choice. Let’s celebrate this school and its desire to prepare its students for life after school on their own terms.

GPA and Class Rank

“I am not paying for my child to retake high school English at college.”

Recently, the way that class rank was calculated has changed in the Coachella Valley School District. This made the news because it “knocked out” some people from the coveted “Top Ten”. The news reporter interviewed affected students and they claimed that they couldn’t afford college without scholarships and the designation of Top Ten definitely gave them an increased chance at the scholarship.

This news story led to a conversation at a local middle school faculty room lunch table. The argued that Advanced Placement Classes should weigh more than Honors classes and certainly more than College Prep classes, which they argued are not really College Prep. Their reasoning is that when the students from College Prep and even some Honors Classes are forced to take placement tests, they are put into remedial classes anyway just so that they can be in the college. The frustration was borne out by the comment of a teacher who said, “I am not paying for my child to retake high school English at college.”

Sadly, we only retain what we are taught for a short period of time in the current model for education and the very nature of these “diagnostic” tests will often have the student come up short. This sad situation was created by our desire to “get the student ready for college” more than it was to get the student ready for their 21st century life. If the low end of our academic offerings are labeled college prep, then aren’t we saying that our schools are only a vehicle for going to college and that “everyone should go to college”?

As far as I am concerned, that is the biggest problem with our system. We are far too concerned with class rank, GPA, college acceptance and the prestige that we feel it brings over practical considerations of schooling. Public education was good enough for the industrial age. It should be good enough for the information age, but we need to rethink our priorities. It’s high time to change the conversation at the lunch table.

College, a social imperative

As far as I am concerned, making college a social imperative is a form of institutional bullying.

If you are in high school these days, you are probably more than aware of the environment being geared toward college. Yes, the college requirements are everywhere. They are on posters around the school, in guidance offices, in handbooks and on the lips of just about every teacher you encounter. They have all attended college. There may be evidence in pennants located on the wall.

There are schools, actually entire districts, (I know from experience) where they actually play college or university fight songs in between classes. There are walls dedicated to the students that made the decision to enter a specific college early and even before graduation, some students are feeling left out. If you know anything about student behavior, they want to fit in no matter how much they cry for independence.

Schools have been trying to tamp down bullying in the recent years. Sadly, this was a few decades too late for me. They don’t see that when you push college so hard, you put an enormous burden on those students whose socioeconomic situation precludes them from considering college but they try anyway. As far as I am concerned, making college a social imperative is a form of institutional bullying.

I had a friend share this article. The only thing that I am sad about is that it is a year old.

Brainwashing

It’s time to start treating high school like the education will lead to the desire to learn more of what the student is interested in learning. Yesterday, I was guest teaching a class of APUSH. That is Advanced Placement US History. They were learning the names of presidents. They were getting facts so that they could compete on Jeopardy or take a test. There was very little discussion. They were the smart ones who lacked the opportunity to use this class to become a more informed electorate and more responsible citizens.

The Problem with Kavanaugh’s Defense

College drinking…in the 1980s.  I am very familiar with the practice.  I attended college from 1980 through 1985.  Please note the time period.  College was a time for exploring your independence…making your own decisions…some good…some not so good.  For many of us…me included…I had to make my own decisions about alcohol.  What to drink, when and with who.

In the quest to “belong” in a new environment…sometimes you follow the crowd.  Here, you go to parties.  You pledge fraternities and sororities.  You look up to and take advice from people who are barely older than you are and in some respects a lot less mature simply because they have been there and know the ropes.  Sadly, their motives are often in question.  Some people will ply you with alcohol in order to get some crazy behavior and have fun at your expense.  We’ve seen the tragic consequences of this behavior recently with the situation at Penn State and others around the country.  Still others have a more sinister desire…the desire to find a person and victimize them for sex.  Alcohol goes a long way to that end by itself but is often enhanced with drugs that immobilize a person beyond the point of just making “bad decisions”.

I’ve just watched a person that I have admired for years prosecuted for drugging women for the purpose of taking advantage of them for sex and subsequently going to prison for this crime.  He planned it out and carried it out.  A lot of these women had their memories blurred by the very same drug.  Often, alcohol by itself can cause blackouts.  If so, this makes it impossible for you to believe a person’s testimony when they admit to drinking and being drunk and then denying that they were at a certain place at a certain time…because alcohol affects your memory.  Remember that his denial is that he doesn’t remember…even if he never said that because he has admitted to drinking in high school and college.  He could have very well done it and doesn’t remember.

I feel for the victims of these crimes.  I feel for the person, Brett Kavanaugh right now and the person that he proports to be.  He lived through that time called college and it doesn’t matter whether it is Trenton State College or Princeton…they all had parties.  Academics don’t make a person a better person.  We are all susceptible to bad decisions.  Learning in college is not all academic.  We are responsible for actions even in learning our lessons.

I don’t drink like a used to.  I am sure that no one continues to live like they lived in college.  I am aware of my behaviors good and bad in college…some even when I was drunk.  It’s the behaviors that I can’t remember that are the scariest.  If there’s anybody I’ve offended, it is still my responsibility.  If witnesses can be gathered and believed, it should be done…particularly if I am getting a high profile job…government or otherwise.  It is a long time ago for me.  It is a long time ago form Judge Kavanaugh.

It will take an experienced nonpartisan organization like the FBI to get to the truth or as close to the truth as possible.  If there are witnesses…they should be found.  If they are credible…the FBI will know.  It’s time to stop believing the accusers because they say so and it’s time to stop believing Mr. Kavanagh because of who he says he is and partisan politicians say that he is….  We have an entire Bureau dedication to investigations at the federal level.  Get this away from congress now!!!