Re: Good Riddance to high school Auto Shop

You're absolutely right! Why should high schools train football/basket ball players for college? But they do, and why should colleges train football/basket ball players for the
NFL? Why should high schools train/teach/prepare anyone to to graduate and go to a job/college? C'mon, what's the purpose of schooling? To train/teach/guide students from K-12. From College freshman to grads. From college plus to a higher degree. But every kid doesn't have the desire to be a book learned person. Where do you think the service people should be trained? The plumbers, electricians, auto body, mechanics, etc. get there education from?
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TOM KAN PA wrote:

I done learned everything I needed to know by reading Usenet! :P
nate
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replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
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we need to allow more such classes it's getting so people can't even tie their own shoes let alone know how to use a screw driver and you might wonder why we are not a true super power anymore
Nomen Nescio wrote:

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I read that same article. It looks like schools need to upgrade in order to be able to teach the skills to repair modern day autos. My high school did not teach auto body repair and painting, but clases were available at other locations.
I don't know what value metal shop has anymore. Wood shop probably still has some value for those wishing to go into carpentry or cabinet making. I am aquainted with some very skilled woodworkers. It's just unfortunate that the work is not steady.
-Kirk Matheson
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I think auto repair is way too complicated to teach in the time frame they have available. Cars are not that easy to work on if you've got an 8th grade education any more.
I think vocational classes in auto body repair, carpentry, masonry, wiring, (construction trades), maybe certain kinds of retail, office, and service work might still be useful. Most of these things would require a real apprentiship or more training to learn. The high school vocational class is really there to expose them and let them decide if they're interested.
To be fair, this trend has been going on for 20 years. It can't be blamed on "no child left behind". More people are going to college, and there are far fewer manufacturing jobs. High paying jobs now, even if they're for greasing a gearbox, are going to college graduates.
To me, the bigger issue is whether it does the students more harm or more good. Teachers kind of tell the students "you can't make it" and shove them into that mold. At least they did when I was in school. So that's the pits, and then there's a pretty good chance of falling in with a bad crowd, which could ruin your life. I'm not sure anybody's ever told me that vocational school really turned their life around. An apprenticeship with somebody much more mature, through a high-school coop program, would do kids much more good than peer socialization with all the school system's designated "children left behind". In my opinion, if you can learn to think and make good decisions at 18, you're good for life. It's never too late to learn to lay bricks or bake cakes. It can be a LOT too late to learn to make good decisions. It takes one-on-one to teach that.
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I'm in no way qualified to go in to deep dialogue about educational trends, however I am involved with K-12 trends in California to be able to give this report:
Auto shop and likes are flourishing, and their popularity is booming! You encounter this new trend in one of two scenarios. Project Based Learning or otherwise known as evidence based learning, and Career path education (Vocational Skills)
Project Based Learning: I was told by those with Ed. behind their Doctorate degrees that students retain information presented in 3d better than in words, so you can use the assembly of an engine to teach history, math, physics, and such.
Career Path Education: Previously referred to in the politically incorrect world as Vocational Ed. This program teaches students that would have flunked out of school a vocational skill, such as medical front office skills, small engine repairs, auto repair, construction technology, computer repairs, and various IT related trainings such as programming, and software management.
All said, the trend is a GREAT thing!
Later Folks, there is a Dodge Magnum RT with a Hemi Engine and full tank of Gas waiting for me to introduce it to the freeway between here and Las Vegas.
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Nomen Nescio wrote:

Well, since Maytag is transitioning production to Mexico, it stands to reason that much of Maytag repair will soon do the same. Many companies currently ship out components to be repaired or salvaged offshore. I would argue that the failure of the U.S. public education system to equip our children with the proper vocational skills is a key factor in Maytag transitioning jobs out of the USA and into Mexico. There are other factors, but this is the key factor that is within our power to correct.

Without a proper foundation, your house will fall to ruin. High School provides a foundation. It doesn't build the whole damn house. If someone is interested in moving into the service field then they should be able to begin training in High School. Someone moving into mathematics, or computer programming, have generally enjoyed the benefit of training from a very young age. You're saying that the blue collar workers shouldn't have that same luxury. I think you're wrong.

Well, that is YOUR version of OUR collective responsibility. My version is that it is the taxpayers' responsibility to build good citizens. It's hard to be a good citizen if your high school drops art, drops vocational technology, drops dance, drops music, and so on. All hell would break loose if a high school dropped football from the program. But vocational technology? Nah, just cut that. You don't need to understand how that pigskin is manufactured, or how that pigskin is marketed, you just need to be able to catch it, right?

That does not follow market patterns. If country or region A follows your methodology, while country or region B begins training kids in secondary school, then A will simply not remain competitive.
Honestly, look at sports. The top athletes all began their training at a very young age. The top musicians did the same. Step outside of sports and look at the people who are top in their field. Most share one thing in common. They were able to begin training VERY EARLY. If you wait until you're 18 to begin your formal vocational training then you're not going to be competitive.

So, your suggestion is to shift the responsibility to industry? Yeah, great idea. Shift that responsibility to industry and then watch product prices grow. You spend less on higher education and more for your damn car, your house, your groceries. Oh, and in thirty years there are alot fewer blue collar jobs for our mostly blue collar population, because Mexico and Canada saw the writing on the wall and invested in their vocational education while we were busy pumping out jacks of no trades who are masters of nothing.
I simply have never heard a logical argument that would justify moving education and training out of the public and higher level education system and into private industry.
In my experience, it is the parents and grandparents of school age children who fight for the proper level of support for their communities.... And it is the stingy folks without kids who bitch about every budget increase because they don't see how it benefits them now or in the future. It seems they forget that our youth today will be running the show in twenty years. So we better make damn sure they are given everything they need to learn and succeed or we'll be paying a hefty price in our golden years for our neglect.
Sean.
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specialized
factors,
Well, the other issue is that I happen to have a Maytag washer and dryer - and both have lasted well past the warranty period. So if they do fail, and I did need to bring in a repairman, it would be a repairman from the local appliance repair place, which isn't specifically a Maytag-owned shop.
And the likelyhood is that the parts that he would use to repair it are aftermarket parts, not Maytag-manufactured parts. So I don't think Maytag is particularly a good example here - I doubt that Maytag makes much revenue at all from repairs, I think the vast majority of it comes from the initial sales of the appliances.

Venice
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From a fairness standpoint I agree with you. It isn't fair to try to streamline everyone into college. And there's a lot of educators today that are saying that with the demise of the vocational track that we are getting more high school dropouts.
But from a societal point of view, we have a serious shortage of higher-educated people in the country. Not, of course, right at this moment - the economy is in a slump and job creation is low in all fields - but overall, we need more scientists than we need blue collar workers. As a result - the schools are trying to get kids to go on to college, not go the vocational track. I don't agree that they are doing it right or that they even can do it - but they are trying.

private
loose
This is a gross simplification of the real problem. What the real issue is, is that schools have been so focused on providing 'basic universal education' that they have interpreted this mandate to mean 'reading, writing, arithmetic' because historically these subjects have been the core subjects.
What however is forgotten is that the reason these subjects were core is because this grew out of the early farming communities. You needed ONLY these subjects because you were raising farmers who needed to be able to buy and sell simple items for the farm. You didn't need to teach anything fancy because the machines that the farmers used were simple and hadn't changed for over 2000 years, and the morals/religion/philosophy education part of the upbringing was handled by the local minister.
Post-industrial revolution, the core curriculum clearly needed to be changed to include science, and not simply pure science, but applied science. Unfortunately what happened is that the schools ended up introducing biology as the science, mainly because there was demand for it due to new farming methods and animal husbandry as well, then kind of stopped there. After WWI they started pushing chemistry and after WWII they pushed physics, and all 3 of them primariarly theoretical, not practical. Applied science has never been popular.
So now we have the cores defined as reading, writing, arithmetic, biology, physics, chemistry, and history. All of them heavy in the theory and light on the applied part of it. And all there because of historical reasons that most people have long forgotten. And there's no interest in throwing out the whole curriculum and starting over from scratch, which is what really should be done.

families;
Yes, this is true. Unless of course, you raise immigration barriers.

to
This is greatly dependent on the field.
For performance musicians this is true because music performance is so incredibly competitive in the US that only the very top cream of the crop ever make it. And it is competitive because there are so very few spaces for performance musicians.
The same is true for athletes because of the same thing - there are so very few pro football spots every year that only the best of the best ever make it.
Football and music, though, don't change much over 12 years.
But this isn't true for fields like computer science - because if you start training at age 6, by the time you reach age 18, most of what you would have learned would be completely obsolete.

great
masters
No, prices won't rise that much because the industry will just pay the politicians to expand the green card programs, and bring in all the workers from Mexico who -are- trained already.
Check out what has happened to countries like Saudi Arabia. The native Saudis there mostly don't know how to fix a broken shoelace or shit for themselves because the government has paid all the natives out of the oil revenues. So just about everyone in that country that does actual work is an imported worker. Granted that is an extreme example, but do we want that happening here?

Ditto.
children
Not true. Many of the people bitching about budget increases are the very same parents and grandparents who see wasted money.
Look at my city - Portland OR. The water bureau last year was totally hot to cap the resivors here. The city council after years of farting around on this issue finally voted it down as a giant boondoggle. However the water bureau had you gessed it, dropped a half-million dollars already into plastic sheeting for the resivours. That's money down the toilet that could have gone into the schools.
Budgeting is always a complex problem. One thing that I have learned though is that you don't blindly throw money at problems, you just end up with a lot of wasted money.
Take teacher salaries. English teachers are a dime a dozen because the teaching colleges seem stuck on turning them out hand over fist. By contrast math teachers are a hard commodity because industry sucks them up as well as the schools.
So what would benefit the schools the most here would be to lower salaries for English teachers, and raise them for Math teachers. That would cause some English teachers who are good at math to take some courses and certify in Math. It would keep some Math teachers from leaving. And the lower salaries for English teachers would help to deter the teachers colleges from churning out so many - as a result the supply of English teachers would start dropping and eventually they could command a higher salary.
But, the Teachers unions of course fight this during collective bargaining. As a result we lose Math teachers and are wasting money on English teacher salaries. And a lot of would-be English teachers who are told they are assured of a job during college, end up graduating college and finding out that there are no jobs for them.
Ted
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