Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Oct 17 2005

Great Expectations

California Business for Education Excellence (CBEE) put out a supportive press release (PDF document) a couple of weeks ago after Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed SB 586, which involved disabled students, the exit exam and getting diplomas--and AB 1531, which involved alternate methods of evaluating students.

With all the yelling and screaming that goes on about public schools in a state where more than half the budget goes to education it's interesting to note that at least some employers who might hire today's students down the line want to see a harder line taken for graduates to meet certain standards. I do believe that kids come up to a high standard when they're treated as though they can achieve it. But I've also always been of the mind that not every student fits the mold of what many schools deem to be an honor student. Some children have skills that are not honed by sitting in a classroom with lectures and textbooks. However. when the businesses who actually hire people speak up about these things, as a taxpayers, I have to realize that their voice is definitely goint to affect the focus on where public school funding is likely to head in the next few years. I'd still like to see more alternatives for kids who don't fit the traditional student mold but who have the ability to be trained in other ways--especially when those very worthy students' parents don't make enough money to send them to a private school.

The businesses themselves can do a lot in this area by providing mentors and even offering classes in specialized areas. Some students who may not be on the fast track to that MBA degree do have aptitude to cast bronze states, repair tractors or paint houses with a precision many MBA graduates could never match in those areas. I hope business executives are willing to jump in and become a practical part of their own solution by encouraging and providing training in more than just "book learning" and business theory. If they're willing to provide mechanics and artists and construction workers to train students in more than just higher math and English literature they'll reap huge benefits. And so will the rest of us. We'll get a massive work force full of all kinds of talented young people who are really prepared to hit that California job market. I'm glad organizations like CBEE are at least getting the ball rolling.

posted at: 10:50 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry



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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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