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Old 08-25-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 1,335,963 times
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I didn't know if this should go here or in the parenting forum but since it has more to do with school I figured it might be better here.

Not all kids are college bound so why are the high schools making it more difficult for kids to graduate? Why are there no options for the kids who aren't going to college and want to learn a trade? The school my son attends used to have a trade program and a college program. They have eliminated the trade program so the college prep one is the only option.

My DS failed a class last year so he went to summer school, which I find out today that he failed that too. The summer school class was all online at the school. The teachers said it was very hard and was for kids who were self motivated. Well, if they were self motivated they wouldn't have failed the class in the first place. How does that make any sense? I understand not wanting to make the summer school classes an easy way out but this is ridiculous. So he is repeating the class this semester. Now if he fails another class this year (which is likely) he won't be able to graduate on time.

My son is no rocket scientist and I know he will not be going to college. He has ADHD and before he was diagnosed he had to repeat a grade in elementary school so he is already 17 and will be 18 before the end of the school year. He just started 11th grade today.

I have a feeling that he will get discouraged with school and drop out. How does that benefit society by adding to the amount of kids that drop out? I understand holding kids to a high standard, but not all kids are very academic. Not all will go to college. Someone has to be the janitors, or fast food workers. Why doesn't our education system accept this?
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,834 posts, read 41,892,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
I didn't know if this should go here or in the parenting forum but since it has more to do with school I figured it might be better here.

Not all kids are college bound so why are the high schools making it more difficult for kids to graduate?
It's not the high schools but the various State Boards of Education encouraged by NCLB and, now, Race For The Top.

Why are there no options for the kids who aren't going to college and want to learn a trade? The school my son attends used to have a trade program and a college program. They have eliminated the trade program so the college prep one is the only option.
That's what parents wanted and made their desires known through their School Board choices. In areas of high minority population vocational classes/programs are considered racist. In addition it's incredibly difficult to recruit qualified tradespeople to teach those classes. Most carpenters don't have a teaching degree nor the desire to obtain one.

My DS failed a class last year so he went to summer school, which I find out today that he failed that too. The summer school class was all online at the school. The teachers said it was very hard and was for kids who were self motivated. Well, if they were self motivated they wouldn't have failed the class in the first place. How does that make any sense? I understand not wanting to make the summer school classes an easy way out but this is ridiculous. So he is repeating the class this semester. Now if he fails another class this year (which is likely) he won't be able to graduate on time.

Did you look at the class description when he registered for summer school?

My son is no rocket scientist and I know he will not be going to college. He has ADHD and before he was diagnosed he had to repeat a grade in elementary school so he is already 17 and will be 18 before the end of the school year. He just started 11th grade today.

IEP/504 Plan?
I have a feeling that he will get discouraged with school and drop out. How does that benefit society by adding to the amount of kids that drop out? I understand holding kids to a high standard, but not all kids are very academic. Not all will go to college. Someone has to be the janitors, or fast food workers. Why doesn't our education system accept this?

Because parents don't.
See bolded above
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,650,259 times
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Yes, but not because we expect a lot out of them. We set them up to fail because we excuse their failures. Something being hard is a reason to fail for our kids where it's a reason to work harder in other countries.

While I do believe that not all students should be college bound, ultimately, students success or failure have more to do with student effort than anything else. High school is not rocket science. Passing only requires scoring 60%-70% (depending on whether a D is passing). I think it would be unreasonable to expect every child to pass with an A but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect every student to pass.

I have yet to fail a student who simply could not do the material (I teach chemistry). Every student I have failed failed because they didn't do the work or didn't study.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:00 PM
 
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OP, I share your frustration that vo-tech has gone out of fashion. Middle son made it through high school fine, with an IEP, and is a junior in college right now, holding his own. But, I think he would have loved a vocational path, instead of struggling through to get a degree. There are tech schools around, but they have an unfortunate stigma attached to them here, and the kids are reluctant to attend.
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Old 08-25-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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It's been a trend for a while to get rid of vocational programs-- even good ones-- in order to emphasize college prep academics. But as you know all too well, not all kids are ready to be scientists, scholars, or businessmen, but the school system doesn't seem to care. What is ironic is that teaching programs have some of the worst grade inflation of any major in college so it's not as if the system is being run by a bunch of erudite geniuses. ( AEI - Grade Inflation for Education Majors and Low Standards for Teachers )

This might sound drastic but you could have him take the GED test now and enroll him in a trade school of some kind. It would be better than him dropping out and he wouldn't have to waste another 2 years in a high school that is not meeting his needs.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:08 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 1,335,963 times
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North Beach Person: that was the only summer school program they had. I guess it would have been better to not send him at all.

Ivorytickler: Yes my son is not very motivated and isn't much into homework or studying. But sometimes kids just dont get something or it is not at all interesting to them. If he's not going to college why should he learn calculus? That's my point.

Mattie: Thank you

mermaid825: I've thought about having him take the GED but I hate for him to give up. He likes going to school but I think that's mostly to socialize. I'm going to see how he does this semester and go from there.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:13 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,331,980 times
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Why not just get him the tutors and attention he needs after school to make sure he doesn't fail for a third time? I don't think that your son is stupid... but he does need some outside-the-classroom help.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:24 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 1,335,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
Why not just get him the tutors and attention he needs after school to make sure he doesn't fail for a third time? I don't think that your son is stupid... but he does need some outside-the-classroom help.
I've thought about tutors but he's extremely shy and has social anxiety problems. I think that would make it worse for him,
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,650,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
North Beach Person: that was the only summer school program they had. I guess it would have been better to not send him at all.

Ivorytickler: Yes my son is not very motivated and isn't much into homework or studying. But sometimes kids just dont get something or it is not at all interesting to them. If he's not going to college why should he learn calculus? That's my point.

Mattie: Thank you

mermaid825: I've thought about having him take the GED but I hate for him to give up. He likes going to school but I think that's mostly to socialize. I'm going to see how he does this semester and go from there.
Why is he taking calculus? Is it required for graduation?

Most high school classes are passable by just about any student who tries. I'd pull physics and calculus out (and if he's being made to take them, I'd be arguing with the school on that) but I don't know a single school that requires them for graduation. We require chemistry (or physics) for graduation and a college prep chemistry course is a stretch for many students which is why the school offers a lower level chemistry course.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,650,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
I've thought about tutors but he's extremely shy and has social anxiety problems. I think that would make it worse for him,
Do you realize all you have done here is make one excuse after another for your son? Why should he try? He knows you're going to blame his failure on something else. As long as you do that, he will continue to fail and it won't just be college prep courses. You don't help him by making excuses for him. If he has issues, he needs to learn to deal with them not use them as excuses. If he doesn't belong in high school, then get him out. Even with disabilities, most kids can pass the courses necessary for a high school diploma. Some need more help than others but most of them can pass if they try. Few will pass if they don't try and there's no need to try when people make excuses for you.
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