We all have different life experiences and in America this is both a blessing and a curse. We celebrate who we are, our cultures and our heritages. That’s the blessing. But with such diversity, with such a heterogeneous population, governing this country is a challenge, putting it mildly, more like a nightmare in reality. But so it goes.
Although by the very nature of our population we are not all the same, our leaders would have us believe we all need the same things. In this regard, they would have us believe we all need to go to college. Our leaders have spent a lot of time and money perpetrating and sustaining this narrative, yet it is a myth, a false narrative, one driven in large part by the economic interests of the education industry, and if you don’t believe it’s an industry, check out the dollar-numbers. The revenues of higher education alone exceeded four hundred billion dollars last year. Of course then the education industry has a powerful and wealthy lobby, and whether you like Trump or not, he continually reminds us of how lobbies push for and get things done with our politicians.
Another part of the we-all-need-college myth is that we all are capable of going to college and we all want to go. The second part of that assertion is easily belied by simply asking around. If you are actually in schools, you know the kids who simply can’t wait to be done with it. They’ll tell you straight up. As for the first part of the assertion, that everyone is capable of going to college, that simply is not true although it is the politically correct statement, the right thing to say to parents if you’re a school district leader or if you’re a politician seeking election or reelection. But because it is said does not make it any less of a silly myth perpetuated for the individual and collective interests of those saying it. A simple look at IQs and college fail-out rates will provide a more accurate and realistic picture of who is capable of what.
That last statement is not meant to demean or belittle anyone. With more than thirty years as an educator, one thing I have learned and repeatedly seen is that all kids excel at something and generally their personal interests lean toward what they are good at. My best friend, whom I’ve always used as the example, is a case in point. He could have gone to college. His parents could easily have afforded to send him. He could have “gotten in” since his grades weren’t that bad. But he simply had no interest despite the fact that his sister went to college and set a good example for him to do so and most of his friends went too, including me. What he did have was a great ear, fantastic eye-hand coordination and a keen sense of music, all of which, combined with his personal proclivities, led him to want to be a recording engineer.
As a recording engineer, all his life he’s made a better salary than me, even than me as a teacher at maximum salary with a Doctoral degree. Rather than go to college, he started as an apprentice in a recording studio and went for what he wanted.
That’s the whole point. Many of the myths perpetrated and perpetuated on us are detrimental to us. The reality of education is that career training and apprenticeships are equally viable means to making a living here and so we do not all need college, are not all meant for college, and should not all go to college. What our educators and politicians owe our kids, each and every one of them, is to provide them with the realm of choices and then provide them with the course of training they desire completely leading to career readiness and job opportunity where applicable.
We live in a BS Nation. Thinking that we should pay for all kids to go to college—look at Hillary and Bernie—is just more of the BS. If you want the proof, look at the collapse of the socialist nations when they run out of other people’s money (OPM), which is the sure end result of socialism. Then look at the Swiss Bank Accounts and other offshore accounts of the leaders of those countries.
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of I See My Light, my new novel, here: I See My Light