Another ridiculous piece of crap that should be banned from Valhalla is the absurd idea that every child should be college ready. Not only is every child incapable of meaningfully attending college, but every child simply doesn’t give a shit about attending college. Not only is there a problem with the child not giving a damn, there are many parents who don’t give a hoot in hell about college either. They never talk to their child about it. They never encourage them to aspire to a college education. It never comes up at the dinner table or anywhere else. By the way, there is little family discussion around a dinner table anymore anyway. There is little family discussion anywhere for a matter of fact. There is one on one discussion between the child and his parent if the child is lucky. This is the simple truth.
So, this absurdity of all children attending college; I shall label the college crusade. The college crusade launched upon by many school districts is similar to the Children’s Crusade which was launched from Europe in the 13th Century. Tens of thousand of children embarked on a bazaar journey to the Holy Lands either to die in transit or be sold into slavery. There are parallels in this tragic story to the same type of ill-conceived crusade with school districts taking thousands of children on their crusade to college.
The children who have been convinced by teachers and staff that they should travel to Jerusalem to go to college; end up dying in the streets, living a life of crime or going straight to prison in the school to prison pipeline and to become slaves for the prison industry. You see the leaders of this crusade forgot to tell them that they have to have respect for knowledge, respect for learning, and most of all respect for teachers in order to justify taking this journey which requires undertaking an unprecedented lifetime investment of time and money. They failed to tell them that without this respect, they will never have the commitment and attitude that is necessary to not only graduate from college, but to even enter college or moreover to even graduate from high school. Needless to say many children don’t have the respect and never get it.
Now there are many teachers like myself who have tried to emphasize the concept of this respect. However, because of the overwhelming ignorance of the concept, it often is like talking to a brick wall. To a preponderant number of children the concept of respect is like a foreign language. It has no relevance to their lives except for one area – their peer group. They do respect their peers. One problem: Their peers will not get them into and through college.
One viable alternative that used be prevalent in secondary education was vocational education. This offers children and parents with little interest in academic achievement the option of being skilled in one of the trades such as auto mechanics, electrician, plumbing, construction, retail sales, wood shop, etc. This type of student would then have something to take with him/herself out of high school enabling him to earn a living and to become a stable citizen. The way it is now, the high school graduate that isn’t interested in college leaves with nothing that he can fall back on to earn a living.
Barclay Totten copyright 2017