President Trump and his daughter, Ivanka, addressed a critical issue this week as they joined with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at Waukesha County Technical College to promote apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and vocational training. And I would like to kiss the rings of all three of these individuals for bringing to light a problem that I have been writing about for years.
When George W. Bush initiated his “No Child Left Behind” initiative, which by the way, was written by none other than the progressive Teddy Kennedy, I wanted to spit nails. Contrary to its promise to educate every child, “No Child Left Behind” abandoned the educational needs of millions of American children. And as an educator, it infuriated me.
Any teacher worth his or her salary, which narrows the field, understands that there are multiple intelligences. I have seen academically brilliant children with absolutely no common sense and two left hands and feet. On the other hand, I have had hundreds of students who struggled in the class setting but were genius in the shop class, machine shop, art room, or computer lab.
While many individuals are both physically, mechanically, and mentally challenged, the average person has a gift. And it is my profound assertion that it is up to the educational system to help those students identify that gift by providing them an abundance of opportunities to discover themselves.
But we can’t help these kids find their God-given talents if we pigeon hole them into what the educational gurus and autocrats find to be politically correct or popular. And that’s exactly what the American educational system has done. It has restricted opportunities for children rather than expanding them.
Money is the universal language, and it is the fundamental communication between the Department of Education and state government. The Department of Education has been controlling the conversation and direction of local education by dangling the big bucks over the heads of the states. To receive those millions in federal funds, the states will dance to any tune which the feds play, and it is always a progressive song.
For the past two decades the American education system has been denying children, with intelligences or skills which lie out of the ordinary classroom model, an appropriate education. Reading and math are the predominant targets of the classroom setting. Whether it’s linguistic modes of instruction or logical-quantitative modes, most disciplines evolve around language and computation.
And these two forms of instruction basically eliminate all possibilities for success in school for those kids who are gifted in other intelligences. Children who find no success in school self-identify as failures because of frustration, and they drop out or become involved in anti-social and/or criminal behaviors.
Public schools push all children, except for the profound and severely mentally challenged, towards a college pathway. And if a kid can’t cut it on that path, he or she sees no hope for his future. He has been conditioned to believe that all children should be able to find success in college, and that is the big lie being sold by our educational system to our children.
In truth, many college graduates of the past twenty years have no business with a college degree. The curriculum was watered down to accommodate the low-average high school students whom had been manipulated into believing that they were college material. I know several college graduates who cannot write a compound-complex sentence.
What is even more incredulous is that colleges are now modifying programs so that students with mental impairments or disabilities can also get degrees. Children with IQs falling below 70 are encouraged to prepare for college.
There is no doubt that the magnitude of the national drug crisis is directly affected by the inability for school age children to find success in school. Kids opt out of society by tapping into substance abuse in order to withdrawal from a society in which they feel lost and a failure.
Some of the highly motivated non-scholarly students will attempt college, because they have no other choices available. Few will graduate, and those who don’t will find a life of unemployment to be their best chance at having an income.
If we are to provide jobs for all of our citizens, we must first provide our children and adults who have a predilection for vocational skills the opportunity to excel and apply their talents. Not only will vocational training bring back jobs, but it will reduce the unemployment and welfare numbers as well as benefiting the mental health of millions of Americans.
President Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Governor Walker understand that all Americans need and deserve the chance to use their inherent instincts to carve out their own place in this journey of life. They are entitled to their shot at the brass ring.