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  1. #1
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    Florida lawmakers propose three kinds of high school diplomas

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/educati...plomas/2110882

    TALLAHASSEE — What if high school were less like an assembly line and more like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel?

    State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would let students pick from three diploma designations, each with its own set of graduation requirements. One would be designed for students planning to go directly into the workforce. College-bound teenagers would have their own pathway, as would high achievers with post-graduate studies in mind.

    Superintendents say the move would keep students engaged in their studies, and provide them with the technical training they need for high-demand jobs.

    But another factor is helping drive the decision: This year's crop of high school freshmen are the first to face challenging new graduation requirements. Some district officials have said the standards are too tough and will prevent thousands of students from earning a high school diploma......more at link......


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  2. #2
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    Will the diplomas be recognized if the student moves to another state or attends college, trade school etc in another state?

    What if the kid changes their mind in their senior year and decides a trade school over college or the other way around? Diploma not good enough then for them to change?

    I don't think I like this idea.
    -
    My opinion and nothing but my opinion.

    Tor:Con Index link below. Will show you the probability of a tornado happening in your area.
    http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index

    FEMA's link for Emergency Supplies list below or what you need to survive for three days in case help is not immediately available to you.
    http://www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list

    You can also purchase a weather radio which will inform you of severe weather even if your electricity goes out. Runs on batteries of course.

  3. #3
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    I'll bet it's because there are too many dropping out and going to work soon as they turn 18 if not before, then getting a ged. Texas has the same problem. The states don't want to lose funding. If a kid doesn't feel they can pass the exit tests or meet the requirements then there's not much sense in staying. I feel bad for kids who get held back at any point. They could be in public school until well over age 19.

  4. #4
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    I'm not THAT old, and I remember there being certain "tracks" that students could choose from in high school (vocational vs college-bound), but this was before standardized tests (which I think are ridiculous). Get rid of the state/federal standardized tests/Federal funding and let the schools do what is best for the students is my opinion.
    The world is full of monsters with friendly faces and angels full of scars. ~ Unknown

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by txsvicki View Post
    I'll bet it's because there are too many dropping out and going to work soon as they turn 18 if not before, then getting a ged. Texas has the same problem. The states don't want to lose funding. If a kid doesn't feel they can pass the exit tests or meet the requirements then there's not much sense in staying. I feel bad for kids who get held back at any point. They could be in public school until well over age 19.
    Bingo. Texas's standardized tests have gotten to the point of ridiculous. The amount of information I learned in high school in Texas (or all my years of schooling in Texas, actually) that was related to a standardized test was the majority of our focus. Until senior year- after I had passed the TAKS test- each year revolved around what would be tested on the standardized state exams in March. Drilling it into our heads until we could regurgitate the information back onto a scantron perfectly was the goal.

    There were a lot of kids who were punished for not being able to pass these tests, by anything from losing their right to participating in extra curricular sports etc or from losing the biggest right of all... the right to graduate. Their grades would be at or above graduation standards, but if they couldn't pass the state test for whatever reason, they couldn't graduate. In order to purchase a ticket to our senior prom we had to have passed the state tests the year prior. State testing ruled everything around us, and actual valuable education went out the window.

    With that being said about Texas, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these diplomas in Florida, but if they were to give the students who couldn't pass those tests a chance to graduate instead of dropping out, that would be pretty fantastic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurfieTX View Post
    I'm not THAT old, and I remember there being certain "tracks" that students could choose from in high school (vocational vs college-bound), but this was before standardized tests (which I think are ridiculous). Get rid of the state/federal standardized tests/Federal funding and let the schools do what is best for the students is my opinion.
    I graduated in 1970 and we had three tracks - college prep, vo-tech, and general. Most college prep students were in honors classes and there were specific classes to meet college admittance standards. Vocational- technical students took agricultural, wood or automotive shop or other hands on classes to learn skills that helped them get jobs straight out of high school. Some of the vo-tech students had half day apprentice type positions the last year or two of high school with employers that promised to hire them once they graduated.

    The general track was for everyone else - some of those students were able to go to college or take classes at the community college but most got office or service jobs once they graduated.

    In that area many of the vo-tech graduates earned more right away than general track graduates did - the vo-tech graduates had skills that fit them for their jobs without training. These days companies complain that high school graduates don't have skills they need - we need more partnerships between business and the school systems to teach those skills like we did when I was in school. The skills may be different, but the idea is still good.

    If you look at how much schools have to spend to pay for those tests, it's understandable why schools don't have money for actual education or maintenance of their facilities. And if you look at who is making the profits from selling those tests to the school systems you would understand why they have become entrenched and why it will be next to impossible to get rid of them.

  7. #7
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    Wow...had no idea there were many degrees of diplomas.

    Ours was pass or fail...diploma or none.

    Food for thought.
    -
    My opinion and nothing but my opinion.

    Tor:Con Index link below. Will show you the probability of a tornado happening in your area.
    http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-torcon-index

    FEMA's link for Emergency Supplies list below or what you need to survive for three days in case help is not immediately available to you.
    http://www.ready.gov/document/family-supply-list

    You can also purchase a weather radio which will inform you of severe weather even if your electricity goes out. Runs on batteries of course.

  8. #8
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    It's true there used to be different "tracks" for future blue- and white-collar workers (even though they all got the same diploma).

    But that was when we had manufacturing jobs that required a large blue-collar workforce.

    Does that still exist today? Or are we just creating a category of permanent second-class citizen with a vocational track? (These are serious questions. I don't know the answer.)

  9. #9
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    It might be a good idea to familiarize with European education.

    In Sweden students, upon passing an exam, choose a vocation. If this doesn't work out, they re-enter another program. As a result, there are students (REAL students) from a wide range of ages. While this may receive some US criticizism, they are training students to do something when they graduate.

    When US students leave school and decide to go into retail, computer repair, washer-dryer service, electrician, auto repair, carpentry, beautician - shall I go on - they are unprepared for any of this. Why aren't they learning at least some of this in high school? Why are we, as a country, looking down on people in these professions when we rely on them daily?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    It's true there used to be different "tracks" for future blue- and white-collar workers (even though they all got the same diploma).

    But that was when we had manufacturing jobs that required a large blue-collar workforce.

    Does that still exist today? Or are we just creating a category of permanent second-class citizen with a vocational track? (These are serious questions. I don't know the answer.)
    No second class citizen if the vocational track was an employable one. Churning out IT people and any other easily-offshored job is outdated.

    What's needed now are actual apprenticeship programs (like the union does but there are fewer opportunities with a union) for people who want to be electricians, plumbers, auto mechanics (this job can actually be pretty high tech with today's vehicles) and other jobs that require the presence of someone to perform.

    I happen to be in a field that suffers from heavy offshoring and I am making about 1/2 of what I made in 1999. Today's youth not interested in college would find themselves in heavy demand if they had a real trade.
    All posts from me are MY OPINION ONLY


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballerina View Post
    Bingo. Texas's standardized tests have gotten to the point of ridiculous. The amount of information I learned in high school in Texas (or all my years of schooling in Texas, actually) that was related to a standardized test was the majority of our focus. Until senior year- after I had passed the TAKS test- each year revolved around what would be tested on the standardized state exams in March. Drilling it into our heads until we could regurgitate the information back onto a scantron perfectly was the goal.

    There were a lot of kids who were punished for not being able to pass these tests, by anything from losing their right to participating in extra curricular sports etc or from losing the biggest right of all... the right to graduate. Their grades would be at or above graduation standards, but if they couldn't pass the state test for whatever reason, they couldn't graduate. In order to purchase a ticket to our senior prom we had to have passed the state tests the year prior. State testing ruled everything around us, and actual valuable education went out the window.

    With that being said about Texas, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these diplomas in Florida, but if they were to give the students who couldn't pass those tests a chance to graduate instead of dropping out, that would be pretty fantastic.
    Exactly. I HATE it for my last child in school here. EVERYTHING revolves around that damned test. Doesn't matter if she has A's and B's in every single class - if that test is not passing or above average, it's failure. What's the point in having a teacher anymore? Anyone can memorize facts. It's the lowest level of learning (rote, understanding, application, correlation).
    The world is full of monsters with friendly faces and angels full of scars. ~ Unknown

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~ Aristotle

    The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

  12. #12
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    This is a really interesting paper on voc ed.

    http://www.calpro-online.org/eric/docs/lynch/lynch3.pdf

    I especially noted:

    Vocational education, especially in high schools, is at a crossroads. Down one path seem to be successful programs that are technologically up to date, integrate rigorous academics with knowledge and skills needed for careers, have a good career pathway planned with and for students and their parents, prepare students concomitantly for employment and higher education, and are well respected in the community. Many such programs are shining examples of excellence and some have been showcased in many ways. Down another path are schools and programs that have failed to update and increasingly rely on larger percentages of their total enrollment from disadvantaged populations but may not be well staffed or equipped to serve special populations well; their students are succeeding in vocational programs without fully understanding the insufficiency of the curriculum to prepare them either for good employment or further education.
    This is an interesting issue. I don't have enough information to make a choice about whether I'm pro or con on this one.

  13. #13
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    I think the key is for business and industry to work with the school systems to tailor vocational programs to train students for the jobs that need to be done. I see the for profit universities advertise that Cisco and other tech companies are cooperating with them. Many of those jobs could be done by high school graduates with appropriate training.

    I also more and more H1B visa workers being hired. Our schools should be teaching our own young people to do the jobs that we are allowing businesses to import H1B workers for. It's insane to bring in foreign workers with unemployment as high as it is. Business should step up and train workers to do the jobs - or maybe they should pay salaries to attract the qualified workers already in this country.

  14. #14
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    Goes through some of the past changes in education and how grouping by ability is coming back:

    Let's Go Back to Grouping Students By Ability

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/...ors_picks=true

    .......Interestingly, new reports suggest that ability grouping may be making a comeback. The National Bureau of Economic Research has released a study that examines the effects of sorting students by ability. The study looked at data from the Dallas Independent School District and found that sorting by previous performance "significantly improves students' math and reading scores" and that the "net effect of sorting is beneficial for both high and low performing students." The same benefits were found among gifted and talented students, special education students, and those with limited English proficiency. .............

    If ability grouping is indeed making a comeback, education may benefit significantly. Instead of relying on "gifted" and "honors" programs -- which are, in effect, tracking systems -- the ability grouping now being practiced in some schools allows for greater flexibility. When properly executed (as it was in my school during the 1960s), this enables students placed in lower-ability classes to advance to higher-ability classes based on their performance and progress. ...........more at link.....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  15. #15
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    For the jobs issue, this is not just a problem in the U.S.:

    Infographic: Skills gap impacting employers across the globe

    http://msn.careerbuilder.com/Article...JS_3313_advice

    According to a new CareerBuilder survey, a significant number of employers in the 10 largest world economies say that extended job vacancies have resulted in lower revenue and productivity and the inability to grow their businesses.

    When asked which positions were the hardest to fill, employers cited technical fields -- information technology and engineering -- as being some of the most difficult. Other areas included sales, customer service, research and development, production, creative/design and marketing.


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington



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