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PS - if this topic interests you, you could do worse than visit http://www.joannejacobs.com/ from time to time.


speaking of which, I just say THIS on her site:

"The 82 percent drop-out rate

The overall drop-out rate is 82 percent, writes Ronald Wolk in Teacher Magazine.

For every 100 students who enter 9th grade, 67 graduate from high school; 38 of these enter college; 26 are still enrolled after their sophomore year; and only 18 graduate with either an associate or bachelor's degree within six years.
Without a degree or vocational training, most of the drop-outs aren't well-prepared to earn a decent living."

I guess great minds think alike :-)

Mighty Mo

I don't think that picture is going to sell IT.Those are staggering statistics. Are they nationwide or just Florida? Let's bring back the vocational schools. Think how much happier some of those students would feel in a vocational school. And they would have something, once they were out of school. There might be fewer disruptions in regular classrooms, also. Does anyone have a plan to get around the teacher's union? They have shown how all-powerful they are.


Welcome to the comment section Mighty Mo.
Yes, a lot of them would be happier, not just while they were in school but for years after they graduated, if not their whole life.

David Foster

You might be interested in my post on "the supresssion of shop"



They have a system similar to what you propose in Germany. According to a exchange student from Germany who lived with me for a while when I was in high school.
At middle school age children are directed onto one of two tracts. Die Raulerschuer which is a school that prepares them for factory work or skilled labor (ie plummers, electricans, etc) and of course craftsman such as carpenters, cabinet makers, etc. Or Das Gymnasium which is you basic college prep for European universities.
According to my friend this system works very well for the German people. However, we know how little the American people like being guided by the G even if it appears to be for our own good...
Something to mull over...


Photoncourier, I read your link and send back a hearty "Roger that!"
Bone, bad enough the Deutsch do it that way, but the cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys do it the same way.
An important difference we'd need & demand in America would be making it a free choice, either way, and revokable at any time. It can't be a class thing, that would never be accepted here, but it could be a choice thing. The educrats are big on *choice*, are they not?

Wacky Hermit

Why should vocational training be limited to those who aren't interested in academics? My sisters and I are all "cross-trained" in a non-academic trade, as well as having college degrees. My parents insisted on it, just in case we didn't complete college or were unable to get jobs in our academic field. I think everyone should learn a trade so that everyone can do something that's of practical use to society.

I still can't believe people pay me good money to just teach them mathematics. I can't help but think that one of these days, the gravy train's last boxcar will pass... but when it does, I'll be ready.

Frank Borger

You can't remember the pythagorean theorem?

Ever used the 3 4 5 rule to use a tape measure to set up a right angle???

Wacky Hermit

Frank, using a single instance of the Pythagorean Theorem is not the same as understanding the applicability of the general theorem.


My bad. I meant the quadratic equation. I use 3-4-5 all the time, of course.

Dwaine Falls

I graduated from a vocational school in the carpentry program and went on to earn degrees in: AAS-Drafting & Design, AAS-Construction Technology, BS-Civil Engineering, BS-Surveying and MS-Engineering Management.

I have found the best engineers have a vocational backgrounds.


I wholeheartedly agree that vocational training and education are every bit as valuable -- and perhaps more so -- than college-prep work. After all, knowledge alone is good for cocktail party banter, while knowledge applied is the definition of skill. I know too many knowledgeable people with no skills. And, having worked most of my career in the high-tech industry, the last three CEOs for which I've worked -- and the BEST ones -- never went to college. But boy did they have vocational skills and magical thinking and guts and tenacity on their side. And they got to order my multi-degree Ivy-League pedigree around. When my 15 year-old son tells me how useless his high school curriculum is, I cannot honestly disagree, and I DO know how to diagram a sentence and I DO know the Pythagorean Theorum. After all, I was busy memorizing everything to get A's while my smarter counterparts were obviously "learning a vocation" by banging out code and building crazy machines in their garages. And now, should they ever need a sentence diagrammed, they can tell me to do it for them by Friday at noon, because I work for them. I get it now. Maybe if the people who run our educational system ever had a job driving commerce, they would get it too. Our economy, philosophies, and social structures are advanced by pioneers and visionaries in all walks of life, and that has very little to do with what one learns in college.

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by Friday at noon, because I work for them. I get it now. Maybe if the people who run our educational system ever had a job driving commerce, they would get it too. Our economy, philosophies, and

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November 2008

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Seen at low tide

  • American White Pelican
    Saw 30 in one flock on a weptember evening while fishing
  • Hummingbird
    Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
  • Flamingo!
    One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
  • Falcon!
    Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
  • Black Skimmer
    These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
  • Dead sea turtle
    cool, but smelly
  • Reddish Egret
    These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
  • Sand Piper
  • Brown Pelican
    I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
  • Wood Pecker
    They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.
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