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Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Community College? How about we fix the high schools Mr. Obama?

The New York Times explained this morning what is behind the free Community College plan of President Obama. In this article they said

The United States built the world’s most successful economy by building its most successful education system. At the heart of that system was the universal high school movement of the early 20th century, which turned the United States into the world’s most educated country. These educated high school graduates — white-collar and blue-collar alike — powered the prosperity of the 20th century. 

That may well be true. The high schools of the early 20th century taught employable skills (in addition to the absurd 1892 academic curriculum still in place.) Eventually all practical high school programs were eliminated from high school because everyone “must go to college.”

Mr. Obama, instead of restoring all the practical things that were taught in high school, wants to make everyone go to college in order to learn employable skills.

The plan would allow anyone admitted to a community college to attend without paying tuition, so long as they enroll in a program meeting certain basic requirements and they remain on track to graduate in three years. Its broad goals are clear: to extend the amount of mass education available, for free, beyond high school — from K-through-12, to K-through-college. “The president thinks this is a moment like when we decided to make high school universal,” said Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.
Here is a wild suggestion, Mr Obama. Fix high school. Teach practical subjects there. Eliminate the 1892 curriculum. Here are some suggestions for what could be taught in high school today:  

Some Proposed Curricula

  1. Criminal Justice
  2. Sports Management
  3. The Music Business
  4. Music Technology
  5. Law
  6. The Legal Office
  7. Military Readiness
  8. The Fashion Industry
  9. Electrical Engineering
  10. Civil Engineering
  11. Robotics
  12. Computer Engineering
  13. Computer Networking
  14. Homeland Security
  15. Medicine
  16. Nursing
  17. Medical Technology
  18. Construction
  19. Television Production
  20. Real Estate Management
  21. Landscape Architecture
  22. Computer Programming
  23. The Banking Industry
  24. The Investment World
  25. Automobile Design
  26. Aircraft Design
  27. Architecture
  28. Biotechnology Lab 
  29. Film Making
  30. Travel Planning
  31. Financial Management
  32. Accounting
  33. Parenting and child care
  34. Animal care
  35. Zoo Keeper
  36. Urban Transit
  37. Hotel management
  38. Healthcare industry
  39. Food industry
  40. Graphic Arts

Could we do this? Easily. Online education allows teaching anything anywhere. Every kid could choose what they were interested in and then change his or her mind and do something else if they got interested in something else. And there are many more possibilities. Spend our money more wisely Mr. Obama. Build that.

Community college wouldn’t be necessary if the high schools weren't broken.


Harry@NCS said...

Breath of fresh air. Also note: not all MOOCs should be thrown under the same bus. I am a particular fan of Udacity's "learn programming by writing a search engine" and "learn web applications be creating a blogging service" as constructivist, learning-by-doing for the modern age.

MS said...

Aren't those too granular, narrow subjects create *more* unemployable people, at least to the eye of the employer?

"I studied the Banking Industry" probably doesn't sound that appealing to an accounting firm, and lots of poeple who got hired in the banking industry did so without taking a single Banking Industry class, or daycare workers without taking "Parenting and child care" classes, and so on.

Your Proposed Curricula sounds a lot better than the current system, but I prefer students taking a more broad set of subject categories, like...

* Civics and Law Enforcement
* Entertainment and Media Production
* Engineering and Industrial Design
* Healthcare and Medicine
* Finance and Accounting

What do you think?

Finanzen said...

Why you do not offer an online course on coursera. Than you can show the world how create story-based learning really is.