Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are Our Kids Getting Dumber?

On the blog "ideas from free minds" today, there's an interesting post relating to modern education in America (particularly high school education). The post includes a 12-minute video clip, produced by three young men in a Florida public high school, that is well worth making time to watch. I don't agree with everything they say, but the first 8 minutes and the last minute are revealing and thought-provoking.

The blog text also contains some worthwhile information. (A word of warning, though - toward the bottom there is a picture which includes some text that some of you will consider offensive. It's still worth the read - but you might not want to share it with your kids.) The part that caught me most off guard was this paragraph:

Then consider the greater than $48,000 average cost (four years) of state college tuition and the fact that many students (I’ve seen figures as high as 78.7%) require remediation once they are there. Consider that in 2005, starting salary averages for college grads were between $29,733 and $53,279. Add to it all the idea that you need be degreed before you can answer a phone and it becomes clear that our education system has been set up to weigh students down in debt before they make a dime.

What's frightening to me about the average salary for college grads is that while engineering graduates generally make excellent starting salaries, liberal arts graduates (which in my experience constitute the majority of college grads) generally make no more than about $35,000 to start. How long will it take to pay off almost $50,000 in student loans if you're making less than $40,000 per year? And that doesn't count graduate school, which is often necessary these days in order to get a long-term career position in either the arts or the sciences. My husband and I have been looking into graduate schools lately, and it would appear the least expensive M.A. degrees available, generally from public universities, are at least $25,000. Some cost as much as another $50,000. So by the time our kids get their bachelor's degree and their master's degree, they are looking at a debt of perhaps $100,000 or more. That doesn't include room and board, which must somehow be covered while the student is going to school full-time and trying to make time to study besides.

Anyone wonder why I choose to homeschool, and why my children will be going to college early? :) So click on over, watch the video, read the blog post, and see what you think. What are the problems plaguing public education? And how might they be fixed?


libertarianlady said...

Thank you, Marcy, for the link back. The picture you mentioned is my go to image whenever I talk about NCLB. I realize it's offensive to some but I think it sums up how offensive compulsory government run K-12 education can be.

I'm going to forward your site URL to my daughter. She is much like me (although a much better mother than I ever dreamed of being) and she is fortunate enough to be a stay at home mother. She is also very open to parenting methods that have of late seemed unconventional to much of our country. She's also impervious to the opinions of sheeplike people who would say she's weird for keeping her kiddo out of state hands.

Kimmer said...

VERY interesting--put a link on my blog as well!

Shawna said...

And something else to consider... a BA these days is a dime a dozen; it seems as if everybody has one and therefore it looses its value, making even higher degrees necessary and making that debt climb more.

Off to watch the video :-)