Okay. I lied about shutting up on this topic. But I'm only posting now
to clarify my position (which is pretty much the same as Sigurd's )
regarding what I believe our schools SHOULD be doing rather than what
they should NOT be doing.
Some of you were kind enough to read my post of last week where I made
clear that I believe K-12 education to be a serious endeavor. We have
real work to do and definite basic skills to develop in our students,
but I think the operative word is "basic". And here I feel we are
lacking. For instance, those basic work skills that Sigurd refers to
(showing up reliably, etc.) are often not acquired by our students
because we are not reinforcing that behavior strongly enough in our
schools (though I believe, in Montpelier, we are doing a pretty good job
on the respect issue).
Ensuring a basic level of literacy, numeracy and civic understanding IS
the primary responsibility of our school systems. After that, the most
important skill we can offer our students is how to be independent,
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
58 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
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>>> [log in to unmask] 4/14/2005 8:57 AM >>>
I subscribe to this group because I work one day a week as technology
coordinator at Walden School, a small K-8 school. One of the many
hats I wear is being a member of the Northeast Kingdom Workforce
Investment Board (WIB). One of the biggest concerns we hear from
employers across the board - is that too many of the people applying
jobs don't have basic work skills - showing up reliably, dressing
appropriately, treating co-workers with proper respect, etc. There's
often also a dearth of basic math skills, literacy (language, not
etc. I think it IS appropriate to expect students coming out of the
environment to have at least this much of a foundation for employment.
This is a bar far lower than getting tech certifications.
My personal opinion is that having the OPTION of getting some trade
skills at the high school level is appropriate - whether that be
carpentry, auto mechanics, or tech certification. I also believe that
learning how to learn is more important than getting any particular
skill set. In twenty years there will be jobs that don't exist now -
just as 20 years ago there were no web designers, etc.
Vince Rossano wrote:
>Bjorn, Bjorn! You're taking this all far too personally. My
>were meant good-naturedly.
>Look, many of your points are well taken, but we are talking past
>other. What's involved here is stuff that deals with the very nature
>our role as educators. Many of us, as you've seen, have deeply held
>philosophical beliefs around this issue. You've aroused some intense
>responses not because you're position is ridiculous, but rather
>it is widely held by intelligent people - and strongly opposed by
>intelligent people. But, at this juncture, the direction we're
>in this discussion will only further polarize us.
>If I, among others, have seemed dismissive of your remarks, I
>apologize; though I disagree with you, your remarks have been
>in provoking thought about this important topic. But I think I'll
>off for now. Perhaps we need to call a moratorium on this subject.
>Information Technology Director
>Montpelier Public Schools
>58 Barre Street
>Montpelier, VT 05602
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