How Schools Cheat Kids
October 31st, 2012
The U.S. education system discriminates against people who work with their hands. PBS television recently broadcast my commentary explaining how our high schools are biased against blue-collar Americans. Take a look. My comments begin 26 minutes into the program.
Here’s the transcript:
TODD BUCHHOLZ, AUTHOR, “RUSH”: Our schools have cheated and
discriminated against a generation of students. When I was in high school,
they divided us into two tracks. The college prep kids read “Beowulf” and
“Macbeth”; the other kids were shunted into so-called vocational education.
They learned how to build a house, change spark plugs, wire air
conditioners. Of course now, most of us college kids can’t even explain
how a toaster works. So where was the cheating and discrimination?
Those vocational kids weren’t taught enough. They should’ve been
taught, not just how to build and fix things, but how to run a business.
If you’ve been trained as a plumber and you can snake a pipe, you might be
able to make ends meet for your family. But if you’ve also learned how to
open your own plumbing business, you can prosper. If you can understand
the computerized diagnostics system for an auto assembly line, you become
invaluable. We need more skilled trades people in America. There are more
job openings for welders than for “Beowulf” experts. Our schools should be
honoring people who work with their hands. It’s time to stop this
discrimination or we’ll all end up empty-handed.