Some fascinating trends came up in an opinion piece by Ted Dintersmith and Tony Wagner this week, which discussed how well-intentioned goals put into America’s K-12 system are actually crippling our kids’ job readiness.
In a political season where candidates are putting major emphasis on funding more college for more people, we suggest that it’s smart to consider that more federal funding of colleges will likely mean more federal control. Will that produce the same mess in the higher ed system that currently exists in our K-12 schools?
- Most college science classes emphasize definitions and formulas that have no use in the real world. A hilarious example is given of MIT graduates who have proved unable to take a lightbulb, wire and battery and make the lightbulb turn on/
- High school math focuses on skills emphasized in SAT and ACT tests like factoring and integrals, while these tasks can easily be done on a iPhone app. Useful skills like data analysis and computer programs are completely brushed over.
- English classes waste endless time on grammar rules and analysis, while failing to teach kids how to create effective presentations, a skill treasured by many employers.
Currently, for every 100 kids in the U.S. who start college, just 25 wind up getting degrees and a job in their chosen specialty. The piece notes Google’s current practice of hiring many people who never even went to college as a perfect example of how big U.S. employers are giving our school system a failing grade.