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Why Does Everyone Need To Go To College When They Already Go To High School?

Many people today forget that in the 1970s and 1980s, you could get most jobs with just a high school diploma.

Many people today also forget that back then, and it gets worse the farther back you go, not everyone graduated from High School. In fact, the graduation rate for high school back then mirrors what today's Master's level graduation rates are... but more on that later in the article.


You see, the original idea of "High" school was that it was to teach the students the skills that would be needed to get, maintain, and possibly even start their own job. It was intended to be a set of grade levels that prepared people for their adult life. Yet hardly anyone would say now that you are going to be successful as an adult with just a high school education. Why is that?

Well, I will give you a few of the reasons that I feel are the most important:

1) The dumbing down of the education to get higher graduation rates

Anyone in the world should have seen this one coming as soon as the Federal Government introduced the Department of Education. When they tied funding to "performance," and then defined "performance" as graduation, it was only a matter of time before graduating became as common as breathing. In fact, the latest data says that 87% of High School students graduated in the United States from 2019-2020.

How is that possible when the same Federal Government is putting out studies that show that 32 million of our adult population are illiterate, 21% of our population read BELOW a 5th grade level, and as much as 19% of our High School graduates are only "functionally" literate?

The graduation rate, based on reading scores alone, should be no more than 60%, and we have not even discussed math, science, history, home economics, civics, or any of the myriad of other skills that "High" school was supposed to provide to our children.

As businesses began to see the quality of graduates decline, the degree itself, which is genuinely what a high school diploma is supposed to be, became worth less and less. Thus, by the 1990s you needed an Associates Degree to do what most high school graduates did in the 1970s. By the 2000s that had become a Bachelors Degree. By the 2010s, it had risen to a Masters degree. Now, there are legitimate articles saying that while the time when everyone will need to get a doctorate is fairly far off from now, you can see it coming like a freight train in a tunnel.

The more you water down the education, the less valuable the paper you hand out is. What good does a high school diploma do anyone if the Valedictorian and the guy who cannot read get the same piece of paper? How can that paper have any worth at all?

2) They focus on social skills rather than job and life skills

We have all likely seen the memes on social media where they are talking about needing basic life skills, but instead got calculus formulae. While this is slightly inaccurate, it is not altogether wrong. What the makers of these memes fail to realize is that it is not math that they should be upset about, after all it is one of the seven basic liberal arts, but the social nonsense that is taught in all of their classes that keep teachers from covering important information and lessons that they would be able to were it not for all of the social engineering.

When my brother taught for a public school, they wanted to work on "being nice" to each other, so the teachers of EVERY subject had to find ways to fit "social skills" into their teaching. When the hard skill teachers (math and science primarily) complained that this was difficult, they got told that what they were being asked to do was more important than their content matter.

So a math teacher might very well have enough time to cover a chapter on basic taxes if they were not engrossed in trying to revamp their entire class to also cover "being a nice person."

And let us leave alone the constant school festivals which pull students out of classes to celebrate "culture." No, sorry, culture is something they can learn from society, school is for education that will help them in their adult life, and sacrificing classroom time for PRIDE Day parades and assemblies is a very poor choice and is a perfect example of what is killing the ability of our teachers to provide a quality educational experience for our children that will be meaningful.

3) They have thrown out technical education

Yes, most districts have a single "technical" school which is a magnet program, but most see it as a place for rejects and refuse who do not fit the standard education model. Shop classes, trade classes, and so many hard skill classes are now gone entirely from school campuses, and IF you can convince them to let your child participate in these programs, you often have to drive them long distances as only one school has them, if any do at all.

An 18 year old with an ASE certification, a Licensed Plumber's certification, or an Electrician's certification will come right out into a $40,000 a year (plus) job, and have zero college debt to pay off. When so few of our children meet what should be the basic requirement for high school graduation, why is this NOT a bigger program?

Instead, young people are either working like crazy to put themselves through a $10,000 program or are taking on debt to do what used to be done in high school for them for free. We are setting up all of our non-academic kids for failure because we are more interested in their "social" skills than their future job prospects and ability to be successful in society.

Yes, schools should have a Technical Diploma in addition to their Academic Diploma, and no, neither should be seen as "less" than the other. Yet in today's world where the high school diploma is not even worth the paper that it is written on, would it even matter? How could you even take a high school Technical Diploma seriously when you are not even sure they can read the plans that they will need to read in order to build whatever they are scheduled to build?

Why does everyone have to go to college?

Simple. We have squandered and frittered away the education that we ALREADY pay for and that provided well for us in the past because we have made social engineering the more important aspect of our educational system.

What we need now is not just some simple conservative teacher's revival, but rather an entire systemic overhaul that says, "I am sorry that you are upset that your child will not graduate from high school, but they simply were not up to the standard."

People are not equal, and treating them as if they are is the ultimate unfairness.

It is time to revalue our high schools.

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