Author: William

College Education: Not For Everyone

These days, it seems the conventional wisdom is that everyone should go to college. What nonsense! True, a bachelor’s degree is pretty much required for many entry-level jobs these days, but for other positions that pay just as well, you’re better off going to a trade school and learning a skill. I’m all for getting a well-rounded college education even if it has no practical relevance to what you’re doing, but if I’m hiring a plumber, I’d rather have someone who spent two years learning all about pipes. Face it, not everyone is suited for college. It requires the ability to follow simple directions, get your work done on time, and occasionally show up for class; many people seem to have a great deal of trouble with those requirements and end up dropping out after the first year, with nothing to show for the time spent. That said, I do believe that a college education is a valuable experience regardless of whether you actually need it for your job, and in fact I’ve written quite a bit recently with the goal of helping high school students who are thinking about going to college. The first question, of course, is are you ready for college? Almost everyone is capable of succeeding in college; the real question is whether you’re ready and able to put in the effort required. How much...

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No Child Left Behind..Unless They Want To Be

My second year teaching middle school, our slogan was “Failure is not an option”. The official policy was that every student has the ability to succeed and it was our job to help them do so. Well, yes, that’s true. Every child can learn. The problem is, not every child WANTS to learn. For some students, school is something they do a couple times a month when disrupting class sounds more interesting than whatever else they had planned that day. For some, school is something they do because the court orders them to show up. No, I’m not exaggerating – both were true of multiple students. On to the rant. According to the right, only three things are required to make all students succeed: replace all public schools with private and charter schools, test constantly, and outlaw unions. Charter Schools First off , let me say that I have nothing against charter schools; I used to work for one. They have a lot of advantages over regular schools, most of which boil down to one thing: control. Public schools take whoever shows up and teach however the state and district tell them to teach, but charters can do something that public schools often can’t: demand parent accountability and kick out the kids who don’t behave! When I taught public school, my actual authority was approximately zero; if a kid...

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Hello World

Just what the world needs, another new blog! Even though I’m fairly busy writing for other sites, I felt the need to have a good place to rant about things. Plus, I like to explain things and I don’t always write up my good ideas because I don’t have an appropriate place to put them. Thus, this blog. Readers can expect to see posts on computer science, current events, education, programming, politics, and whatever else happens to catch my interest. Hold on; it’s going to be an interesting ride.. Share on...

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