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Old 11-29-2022, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
I've tried hiring people with only high school to do jobs that we typically required bachelor's degrees for. The HS grads could only do it with A LOT of handholding. A damn lot. And I could never give them assignments like "take this data and produce an X report" and expect them to do it correctly in a timely manner. I would basically have to do it then hope the next time was similar enough to my example that they could follow it. College graduates can actually adapt and improvise. The HS grads could only do it with a lot of handholding for me. I USED to think a high school sophomore should be able to do those functions. But generally speaking it took college grads to do that kind of less scaffolded delegation task.

I don't know how many high schools you guys frequent, but as part of my job I go into them. They are KIDS and graduating at age 18 does not make them suddenly have the maturity and wherewithal of a 30 year old college graduate. You guys seem to have massively inflated expectations for 18-25 year olds. They're kids. And I bet you guys were stupid kids too and not quite ready for the big time at those ages either.

Any individual college class is not particularly valuable. But the cumulative experience of passing a lot of classes is. It shows the person can LEARN - they can take a large amount of information, process it, distill it, interpret it, prioritize it, and communicate it. High school doesn't really do that except maybe the best of them and honestly, it never did. Because again they are kids and always were.
High schools today suck because they're trying to push all their students through college prep programs.

They should also have "tech prep" curricula that emphasize applied knowledge: Hammering algebra, geometry, technical reading and writing, electronics, hydraulics, mechanical functions, building science, small business accounting, small business law, et cetera. The point of "tech-prep" would not be to turn out carpenters or plumbers (any more than a college-prep curriculum is expected to turn out doctors and lawyers), but to turn out people ready for additional robust technical training.
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Old 11-29-2022, 02:22 PM
 
20,005 posts, read 18,299,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Those who are able to succeed in robust programs--even robust non-technical programs--probably have IQ in the 120+ range.
I'd bet that's about right. Also all IQs of 120 and above are held by 10 or 10.25% of the population and that group absolutely dominates the very best jobs.

________________


Recalling and simplifying a point made by one of my best friends who is a plumber to my son who is a neurosurgery resident. Friend said more or less, "I could teach you to be a decent plumber in 6-12 months and a pretty darned good one in two years..............you could never teach me to be a neurosurgeon."
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Old 11-29-2022, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
10,091 posts, read 7,295,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Other industrialized nations put students into college and vocational tracks at about what we would call the 8th or 9th grades. They have free education, true, but it's targeted according to student capabilities.
There are couple more big differences between them and us.

1) "Vocational track" does not have the stigma it has here. Their vocational track is not the "dumb" track.

1a) On the other side of the coin, they don't have as much obsession with college pecking order. E.g., they each have a few Harvard-Yale equivalents, e.g. UK has Oxford/Cambridge, France has La Sorbonne, Germany has TU Munich and Heidelberg, Italy has University of Bologna. But beyond that no one really cares as far as I could tell. All of their "regional" or "city" universities to me reminded me of a community college in the U.S. in terms of its campus amenities and footprint. It's for this reason that vocational track doesn't have a prestige penalty vs. academic track, because most the respective schools' footprints are similar.

They don't have near as much of the "I went to Brown which is better than Boston University which is > UMass Amherst which is > than UMass Lowell, which is > Fitchburg State," etc., etc... In the real adult world my experience is that no one gives a crap about those pecking orders, but in the high school world that matters to the EXTREME for both individuals and schools. Big money funding is connected to those pecking orders & we have an entire cottage industry devoted to it.

2) Their systems give a lot more power to both teachers and principals to determine students' future lives, to an extent Americans would never accept. What struck me about both France and Germany's systems was how relatively powerful teachers and principals are, and how respected they are. Americans would NEVER accord 7th grade teachers in consultation with their principals to determine that a student is not "college material" and likely never will be. But there they can. There is much less democracy in their education systems. They have less of a culture of parents going and yelling at school officials. To me, high school teachers seemed to respected at the level college professors are here, if not more. To be fair they were better educated than our HS teachers are.

3) Every exchange student I have ever had is always amazed at how much time American schools spend on things that are not related to academics. Especially sports.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:22 PM
 
1,225 posts, read 1,255,210 times
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Quote:
Other industrialized nations put students into college and vocational tracks at about what we would call the 8th or 9th grades. They have free education, true, but it's targeted according to student capabilities.
Britain's 'A-levels' are taken at the age of 16, what would be the equivalent of 10th or 11th grade in the US. Not 8th or 9th. The French Baccaulaureat is taken at the age of 18. The European Baccaulaureat at the age of 19. Mexico's technical& academic tracks diverge at 10th grade. In Australia, vocational training and college entrance exams are not taken until completion of the 12th year of high school.

So I'm curious which industrialized nations you are referring to that divert students who are roughly 12 or 13 years old away from academic pursuits. Such a strategy sounds a lot like eugenics.

Quote:
2) Their systems give a lot more power to both teachers and principals to determine students' future lives, to an extent Americans would never accept. What struck me about both France and Germany's systems was how relatively powerful teachers and principals are, and how respected they are. Americans would NEVER accord 7th grade teachers in consultation with their principals to determine that a student is not "college material" and likely never will be. But there they can. There is much less democracy in their education systems. They have less of a culture of parents going and yelling at school officials. To me, high school teachers seemed to respected at the level college professors are here, if not more. To be fair they were better educated than our HS teachers are.
And eugenics is the accusation that A LOT of citizens of both France and Germany lodge against their public educators. Many, many minorities in these countries have been forced out of academic-focused programs at a very young age for no reason other than the color of their skin or their family's religion.

I am all for encouraging more students to pursue non-college careers. And I think we need to pressure more industries and universities to drop 'vocational' degrees. Things like nursing, piloting, culinary science, hotel/restaurant management, criminal science....these fields do NOT need four years of lecture halls! And of course we need to change the rhetoric, because none of these careers are for 'stupid' people.

But it is also not accurate to argue that the rest of the world is practicing some sort of Minority Report scheme where students are siphoned off before they've even reached puberty. And even less accurate that these countries have achieved some sort of occupational utopia.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:34 PM
 
1,225 posts, read 1,255,210 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
That is a huge part of the problem, particularly when it's considered that most kids still don't get bachelor's degrees. So, the majority come out of high school with no real capability at all.

There is a test called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This is a multiple-aptitude battery that measures "developed abilities" and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military. Every kid desiring to enlist in the US military has to take the ASVAB and it largely determines what military occupations the person will be permitted to pursue.

This is a test of practical knowledge that the person has accrued. For instance, the electronics portion will present a schematic diagram and ask, "What is the component at annotation A" and work up to "What is the function of this circuit?" Or it may present a drawing of some Rube Goldberg mechanical device and ask, "What direction is the gear at Annotation A turning?" or "If the gear at Annotation A turns three times, how many times will the gear at Annotation P have turned?"

The test runs through all kinds of applied knowledge, including electronics, algebra, geometry, hydraulics, technical reading, et cetera. It's designed to get more and more difficult with each set of questions until the student reaches the "wall" of knowledge on that subject.

The point is not to figure out what military occupations the person is ready to pursue. After all, nobody comes out of high school already able to repair a J-58 aircraft engine or manage the reactor of a nuclear submarine. But those who do well on the ASVAB are going to be more able to absorb the robust technical training the military is going to push them through.

Or any civilian technical training as well.

High schools should have two tracks so that every graduate can succeed with either the ASVAB (or a similar test) or the SAT/ACT. No high school should be graduating students who can't do well on either.
I actually took the ASVAB test. I didn't really take it with the idea of entering the military. I did it because I'd heard about it, and that it is a pretty accurate aptitude test, and I had some doubters in my family about my career choice. So I took the test.

It's been decades so memory is a bit fuzzy. But I don't recall anything about electronics, and I'm pretty sure I would have bombed that section if it was there. I do recall a long section with number and letter sequences, and you had to guess the next alphanumeric sequence, and get through as many questions as you could. The faster you could identify the sequence, the more you could answer, and presumably the better you would be at a particular job like sending morse code messages or something.

I didn't learn until decades later that there were people who actually studied for the test, like they were preparing for the SAT/ACT. I thought it was genuinely an aptitude test, and that's not something you can really study for. Whoops. I guess I did alright though...I did get calls from Air Force and Coast Guard recruiters.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:03 PM
 
12,921 posts, read 9,184,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
There are couple more big differences between them and us.

1) "Vocational track" does not have the stigma it has here. Their vocational track is not the "dumb" track.
.
I think a lot of these issues are created from within the school system itself. Vo-Tech was very popular when I was in school. Parents and students didn't consider it the "dummy" track but a track toward a good paying career. It was educators and guidance counselors who made anything other than "college prep" the "dummy" track. The college push started when I was in elementary and it wasn't coming from the parents; it was the schools giving us stuff -- book covers, bookmarks, trinkets, and pamphlets to take home that all stressed the goal of college. And I don't think we can fix it until educators accept their responsibility to fix it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
1a) On the other side of the coin, they don't have as much obsession with college pecking order. E.g., they each have a few Harvard-Yale equivalents, e.g. UK has Oxford/Cambridge, France has La Sorbonne, Germany has TU Munich and Heidelberg, Italy has University of Bologna. But beyond that no one really cares as far as I could tell. All of their "regional" or "city" universities to me reminded me of a community college in the U.S. in terms of its campus amenities and footprint. It's for this reason that vocational track doesn't have a prestige penalty vs. academic track, because most the respective schools' footprints are similar.

They don't have near as much of the "I went to Brown which is better than Boston University which is > UMass Amherst which is > than UMass Lowell, which is > Fitchburg State," etc., etc... In the real adult world my experience is that no one gives a crap about those pecking orders, but in the high school world that matters to the EXTREME for both individuals and schools. Big money funding is connected to those pecking orders & we have an entire cottage industry devoted to it.
.
That's another thing that seems to be more driven by the educators than the public in general. The only college rankings that most of the public cares about are the NCAA FBS rankings. Beyond that, within specific fields, hiring managers know which universities turn out higher quality graduates. I'm hiring engineers so I'm not looking at Harvard. And I'm also not looking at Lower SouthWest Central State (former Normal School) College either.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:34 PM
 
28,715 posts, read 18,927,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
There are couple more big differences between them and us.

1) "Vocational track" does not have the stigma it has here. Their vocational track is not the "dumb" track.

.
It need not be the "dumb" track here, if the education industry would acknowledge that the majority of kids will not and should not get bachelor's degrees. High schools should be focused on what the majority of their kids need.

Back in the 90s, the governor of Hawaii did a study comparing their high school curriculum (Hawaii has a single public high school district covering the entire state) with the industries and jobs actually available to Hawaii high school graduates. The governor stated, bluntly, "Our high schools are a waste of time, and the students know it."
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:38 PM
 
28,715 posts, read 18,927,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarianRavenwood View Post
[
But it is also not accurate to argue that the rest of the world is practicing some sort of Minority Report scheme where students are siphoned off before they've even reached puberty. And even less accurate that these countries have achieved some sort of occupational utopia.
Nobody made that argument. That's how you characterized it.
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Old 11-29-2022, 06:39 PM
 
28,715 posts, read 18,927,452 times
Reputation: 31036
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarianRavenwood View Post
I actually took the ASVAB test. I didn't really take it with the idea of entering the military. I did it because I'd heard about it, and that it is a pretty accurate aptitude test, and I had some doubters in my family about my career choice. So I took the test.

It's been decades so memory is a bit fuzzy. But I don't recall anything about electronics, and I'm pretty sure I would have bombed that section if it was there. I do recall a long section with number and letter sequences, and you had to guess the next alphanumeric sequence, and get through as many questions as you could. The faster you could identify the sequence, the more you could answer, and presumably the better you would be at a particular job like sending morse code messages or something.

I didn't learn until decades later that there were people who actually studied for the test, like they were preparing for the SAT/ACT. I thought it was genuinely an aptitude test, and that's not something you can really study for. Whoops. I guess I did alright though...I did get calls from Air Force and Coast Guard recruiters.
It had the electronics section when I took it in the early 70s. The sample tests available today on line still have the electronics section.
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Old 11-30-2022, 12:21 AM
 
690 posts, read 653,621 times
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In one of my positions I did an extensive amount of interviewing. The job postings always required a college degree. I always rejected candidates that didn't have a degree. The recruiters were angry with me. I responded that if the degree isn't required they should remove the requirement from the posting. I kept asking them to remove the requirement but they wouldn't...and then they would complain when I rejected the candidates.
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