education, smeducation

my mother sent me an article today from the Chronicle (, detailing how the Master Plan for California, written in 1960, is often used by various constituencies to argue their point of view.  It got me thinking.  Is education actually something we should want for everyone?  I mean, as I said before, not paying for education now is sort of like requesting future monies for prisons.  But why do we think it’s so important?

Yes, of course, education gets people out of poverty…at least, that’s how the stories go.  But it used to be, graduating from high school meant a good life — a blue collar job, pension, health insurance, enough income to buy a house and take a vacation.  Then, college supplanted high school, only the jobs were white collar now.  Then suddenly, everyone needed a master’s.  What’s next, PhDs?  Really?

So what’s wrong with the European model, one that sends those that are ‘book smart’ on to university-track education, while those who are better with their hands get vocational training?  That way, you get your MBA types, your teachers, doctors, lawyers, etc., and you also get your auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians.  Educational money isn’t wasted, people’s time isn’t wasted, and it won’t matter if someone comes from poverty, or what ethnicity he or she is…what matters is what he or she is GOOD at.

Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. So true! My husband is English and is the product of an apprenticeship. We debate moving to England when our son is older because the education system is much better and university would be free, should he desire to go that route. But, I also like the idea of apprenticeships. I *thought* I knew what I wanted to do when I was in college, but it turns out I really just went to college because I thought it was the thing to do.

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