The American Aristocracy of Education, or Not?

I was reading this article…
http://fyi.cnn.com/2002/fyi/teachers.ednews/05/08/graduation.policy.ap/index.html

Does this seem like an elitist action, or is it just hard nose education reform?

Your comments please.

If I understand the article correctly, students who don’t fulfill the future plans requirement can still graduate, but they can’t participate in the graduation ceremony.

The policy looks ridiculous to me. [ul][]Students can and will write down something just to be in the ceremony. []The policy respresents a formal admission that the high school gave its students an inadequate education. It’s not the high school’s business to control the lives of students after they graduate. They shouldn’t even control the lives of their students while they’re in HS. [/ul]

This is ridiculous.

During my graduation ceremony, the principal made it very clear that she did not approve of the graduates that did not plan to seek higher education in some form. Unfortunately, these things are not always a reality for all kids. Her speech really upset me, but it probably upset the people she put down even more.

I’ve got sob stories by the ton. My best friend didn’t go to college because her mom got put in jail and she had to work to support her kid sister. My ex-boyfriend didn’t go to college because nobody ever thought to tell him that financial aid exists and he knew he could never afford college on his own. A good friend choose to spend a year working through some mental health issues. And plenty of people simply have already found their nich without college being involved. Some of the most successful people I know, in both high prestige fields like computers and lower prestige fields like mechanics, found work they enjoy, are good at and are successful at without going to any kind of school.
There are a million different reasons why one would not go on to higher education (and a million more why you wouldn’t want to go into the military, either) and it is an individuals choice.

Yeah, it is just a graduation ceremony. But those can mean a lot more in poorer areas than most people think. Many of the poeple I graduated with were the first high school graduates in their family. High school was a struggle, and they and their families are very proud of their acheivement. This is one of the few events in some people’s lives that involve the whole family coming together- right up there with weddings and funerals. To deny a graduating person this event is wrong.

Why don’t we try actually, say, fixing education, instead of instituting all sorts of pointless measures that try to make things look good at students’ expense?

Thats stupid. Not everyone is cut out for college. If they deserve to graduate, they deserve to go to the ceremony.

There’s a kid at my school who got accepted to Harvard. However, hes putting it off a year to go on tour with his band (he’s probably the best drummer under 21 in NY state.) He shouldn’t be able to attend his graduation? (unless maybe I understood what the rule was at the school in question.)

And I think my high school is bad…

Some people can do fine without going to college. What about some one who is gifted musically like Qwertyasdfg said? I’m surprised that the school has not been sued yet. Or has it?

I’ll bet this policy will be gone before graduation.

I read a longer version of the article yesterday that I am too lazy to link to (I think it was on Metafilter). Anyway, the policy will not be upheld. Here’s one easy scenario:

A student’s post-school plans are to live at home with her parents and get a job at McDonalds. The school says, “Not good enough to walk across the stage for graduation.”

Here’s the twist - the student is a special education student (mentally retarded, severely learning disabled, whatever). The school has done paperwork documenting the goal of living at home and working at McDonalds as the post-school placement (it’s a requirement for schools to help special education studentsidentify post-school goals and work towards them).

Federal law and case law has clearly established that schools cannot exclude students from graduation ceremonies based on special education status or disability.

End of story.

I’m going to agree with everybody else here; this policy is ridiculous. Besides the objections already mentioned, there’s also the fact that not everybody knows what they wanted to do with their lives after they graduate. If students want to spend a couple years doing volunteer work or working at various jobs while they decide what career path to follow, then what right does the school have to decide that their course of action isn’t good enough? Also, there are plenty of students who get jobs right out of high school; not just McDonalds and WalMart jobs. I know three people from my school who are currently earning in the $40,000 - $50,000 range with no college degree. Two of them are computer consultants and one is a mechanic.

I noticed one of the girls was going to work at her mom’s law office, but that wasn’t good enough to let her walk across the stage. I vote for “damn stupid policy”.

Yeah, just what we need – a policy that creates more college students who aren’t ready and don’t really want to be there. Since when does having a job lined up not constitute a “future plan,” anyway?

i’m a college dropout so you will know my perspective from the start.

i applied to MIT and got an interview but was told to hit the road jack. i went to another engineering school.

i think my grammar school was 75% a waste of time and highschool was 50% a waste of time. our schools dribble out information that is important and waste time on trash that is totally irrelevant. and we have to PAY people to sabotage children.

4 years of english literature was required in highschool but only 2 years of math. 0 years of accounting even though Robert Kiyosaki says that accounting is 5th grade arithmatic. i took 4 years of math and got almost all A’s. the jerk teaching junior year would give me B’s for not doing homework even tho i got A’s on the tests. i only got B’s in english literature because it was easy. i would trade 2 years of english literature for 1 year of accounting and 1 year of economics any time. but selecting the books is VERY IMPORTANT.

everyone has to make economic decisions once they graduate from highschool. like how far to go into debt to pay for college. the banks send credit cards to college freshman who didn’t have accounting in highschool. during 4 years at IBM they didn’t ask me about shakespeare or canterbury tales.

is this a RANT? maybe, but tough. i think that policy is TOTAL BULLSH!T. actually it is TOO STUPID to be ELITIST.

on another thread about education i suggested creating a recommended reading list. i’ve started two. fiction and non-fiction. my fiction list is entirely science fiction though. i’m giving a blanket recommendation to the following authors. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Charles Sheffield. The first 3 are famous and have all had movies made from their works. Sheffield is on the list because of the book COLD AS ICE. he refers to Vonneumanns in the book. almost all computers are VON NEUMANN MACHINES but most computer books don’t mention it. so a $5 sci-fi book tells you something that hundreds of dollars of computer books don’t mention.

i didn’t just read the sci-fi books in grammar school. i researched every new word i came across. so i was studying astronomy in 5th grade and building and launching rockets in 7th grade. most teachers are too dumb to pay attention too. children are the future, sci-fi is about the future. MOBY DICK is dead meat.

Dal Timgar

Actually, I find that a lot of non-science fiction books tell you a lot more about human interaction and human nature than science fiction. A crazy, obsessive, self-destructive captain is a lot more relevant than guys in powered battle armor killing alien bugs with laser rifles.
Oh yeah, And that graduation thing is pretty stupid.

This is more than ridiculous - this is vile.

The kid who, after graduation, goes to work in dad’s corner store is not worthy of going to graduation.

The kid who goes to work at the factory is not worthy of graduation.

'Cause, you see, getting an honest job is no longer good enough. :rolleyes:

This is an insult to every blue-collar worker in the country.

Sua

@msmith537

was that Star Trek 4 or 5?

did you read STAR SHIP TROOPERS or just see the movie?

Robert Heinlein was no slouch at political/military philosophy or human interaction. didn’t tend to have dumb characters though. getting obsessed about a whale. PUHLEASE! LOL!

did Ahab have sonar with computer displays on the bridge? can’t you have REAL science and human nature too?

Dal Timgar

Dal, don’t forget that history, particularly the way people lived in the past, is very much a part of human nature. It’s given society its background. Also, it wouldn’t hurt ANYONE to learn how science was like that long ago and to learn how things have progressed. Such knowledge of this progression would lead one to learn just how things work.

Dal: While it’s important for people to become educated in mathematics and the sciences, I’ve met too many people who are brilliant at technical things and astoundingly ignorant in anything else; whose only exposure to literature and the humanities was whatever pop cultural stuff happened to catch their (sadly indiscriminate) eye. We’d end up with school becoming even more of a vocational training program than it is, and the people it is churning out are already not nearly knowledgable enough about anything that doesn’t lead to some job or another. We are producers and consumers, but we are citizens and human beings as well. Education should reflect that.

Besides, eliminating two years of English would only lead to that many more people who haven’t the faintest idea either how to write an essay nor formulate an argument (since the two are IMO related).