I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of education in developing skills for young adults to become independent and self-sufficient adults who will succeed and contribute responsibly in a global community-
Dr. Martin Luther King
Mountain Gap Middle School Mission Statement
We need an education revolution folks…not the “bad” revolution where there is death and destruction. On the contrary, we need the good one that demands total make-over that is beneficial to all. We do not need window dressing reform: we need a total overhaul of our education system.
A 21st Century Education for the 21st Job Market.
Our school’s curriculum need to reflect the real world. High School should offer career/vocational tracks for students beginning in 10th grade — allowing the student to graduate with a skill certificate in a professional area.
Go look at the demand for high school graduates on the major job websites (Indeed, Monster, Careerbuilders, etc…): you will find a high demand of livable wage careers in medical coding, various customer service positions, and a wide range of Information Technology (IT) fields. High schools have not emphasized courses for such careers; therefore leading to a lack of skilled people for these professions.
Here are some newer jobs that are expected to expand over the next few decades:
- Car mechanics – While car mechanics are nothing new, the field needs to grow to make room for those who specialize in electric and hybrid cars.
- Cell phone developers – As cell phones become more and more versatile, the demand for better operating systems and more applications increases. Developers can work on any part of the process.
- Computer science teachers – Computer skills are a necessity for countless jobs today, and students are now learning the basics at school.
- Dental assistants – Dental assistants do a little of everything in dentists’ offices, from helping in procedures to keeping track of patient records.
- E–waste management coordinators – People in this field are responsible for finding ways to safely and effectively dispose of electronic waste products.
- Engineers – Although engineering is not a new profession, new types of engineers may begin to emerge in years to come. For example, biochemical engineers may be necessary if the biofuel market grows.
- Entertainment and media jobs – Jobs on the technical side of the entertainment and media industries will continue to develop and change. Video game designers and software developers are among the many available professions.
- Language teachers – The need for language teachers will continue to grow as the United States becomes increasingly diverse. Schools serving every grade and age level will need English and Spanish teachers in particular.
- Market research analysts – Individuals in this profession can expect to do a lot of research and work with numbers to quantify efficacy and sales. The field is expected to grow 41 percent between 2010 and 2020.
- Medical assistants – The medical field is expected to continue growing, and doctors’ offices will have an increasing demand for aides.
- Nanotechnologists – These are people who construct and repair electronic gadgets on microscopic levels.
- Network administrators – People who can understand and provide support for computer networks are in high demand, and job opportunities will continue to grow.
- Nutritionists – Again, as more people focus on their health and diet, demand for nutritionists will increase.
- Organic farmers – Demand continues to grow for healthy, naturally grown produce and producers.
- Personal finance advisers – People who are good with math and money may consider advising others, a field expected to grow 32 percent between 2010 and 2020.
- Respiratory therapists – People in this profession help patients who have trouble breathing. This profession is expected to grow rapidly, in large part because of longer life spans and a growing elderly population.
- Robotics technicians – Robots are already used for a number of high-tech purposes, such as performing miniscule surgical tasks. As technology improves, there will be more need for robotics technicians.
- SEO specialists – People who specialize in search engine optimization work to improve websites and their standing with search engines like Google.
- Social media experts – These are people who use social media like Facebook and LinkedIn for professional reasons, such as to create a brand identity for a company.
- Stem cell researchers – While stem cell research has been around for years – and surrounded by controversy for just as long – the research is expected to continue and even gain popularity.
- Transportation specialists – The rise of electric and hybrid cars will require not just specialized car mechanics but also workers who can install and repair electric power stations, as well as workers who can deal with renewable fuel sources like ethanol.
- Wind turbine technicians – Increasing numbers of green energy jobs will be available as energy turns cleaner. Wind turbine technicians, those who service wind turbines, are one of numerous similar professions.
Generally speaking, student failures have been linked to low level socio-economics, lack of parental involvement, crime areas, etc…But no matter what we list as the obstruction to success, the inevitable solution is education.
Graduate high school, go to the next level of learning and get a career to support you or your family and live happily ever after?
The problem with that line of thinking is that our high school system is part of the obstruction instead of part of the solution.
The failures of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Lawmakers thought they were making great strides in education with passage of Common Core or No Child Left Behind(NCLB) laws. The idea that all students need to have a common education curriculum experience sounds nice but why does a student in the richest school district, Scarsdale Union Free School in New York, have to have a common curriculum with a student in the poorest school district, San Perlita Independent School in Texas?
Additionally, NCLB created more problems than it solved like increased social promotion on the elementary level; leading to students being unprepared on the middle school level; leading to more social promotion to high school; leading to let (not earn) them have a diploma leading to having no real jobs skills and a worthless piece of paper.
One size does not fit all.
Let us reconstruct high school to offer the best of both worlds for all students. Allow students to choose a college track, career track or both.
Get rid of Common Core and NCLB and allow states to develop career ready schools for non-college bound students. The high school career track curriculum would establish collaborative partnerships with local community colleges and businesses. The community college role would to help with classes and encourage students to pursue an associate’s degree. School district would reach out to businesses eager to groom students for their companies.