March 12, 2014

Producing more than just high school graduates

It is time our community demands that our high schools produce more than just graduates.

We should view completion of your senior year as another transition year. It should be seen no different than going from elementary school to middle school and from middle school to high school. We should demand that we stop trying to build this mythical “work-ready” student.

There are very few jobs for 18-year-olds who only have a high school diploma. Most companies can find higher-skilled and more mature employees with more experience coming from colleges, technical colleges and the military. We need to educate parents and kids that to truly put yourself in a position to be gainfully employed with a career, you need more than just a high school diploma.

There are three options available and each has a test that must be taken as part of the process. We believe our schools should pay this expense, but every student must take one of the tests as part of a graduation requirement.

The three pathways of continuing education should be traditional college/junior college, technical college or military service. We should align our education pathways in our schools to lead our students toward one of these three post-high school options. If we can produce students that complete high school and follow at least one of these pathways we will have the most work-ready community in America.

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