High School Curriculum (4X4) Mandates

Revise Public Education

For the last 40+ years Texas education has focused on preparing students for college. In examining this tract, how may students have failed to graduate from high school and how many of those that attended college actually graduated. It is my opinion that Texas has failed in providing education to the bulk of students that seek skills in industrial, construction, agricultural, and mechanical fields. Germany is providing education that is supportive of their economy and reduces welfare.


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Similar Ideas [ 4 ]


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  1. Comment

    We are neglecting a large portion of the education of our children by not providing opportunities for them to learn industrial/manual/technical skills. Even those who go on to college need to learn some basic skills.

  2. Comment

    I agree that we should provide teens with opportunities to learn a viable skill or trade so they may have a means of supporting themselves without going to college.

  3. Comment
    Brandy Anderson

    While I agree that trades should be taught, and Germany does a better job with education than we do, I don't agree that we should use the German model. I lived there and know that children are tested in 4th grade to determine which educational track they will take. If you do not test well then you are placed on the trade track where they will train you to become a hairdresser or prepare you for some other trade. You must train for 4 years to become a hairdresser. If you test well then you will continue on a path that will allow you to become an engineer or doctor.

    Having your educational direction determined at 4th grade is crazy. Germans cannot just transition careers the way we can. To switch professions they must complete 5 or 6 more years of training and get the proper certifications and licenses from the gov't.

    Even the children in the U.S. who go on to work in a trade, need to be better educated and technical training should be provided to those who do not believe they want to go to college.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      But it is their training that gives them pride in their job and leads to much higher productivity that in the US. Also if you lived in Germany you should know that you are not stuck in that track.

  4. Comment

    The costs of a college education are now staggering and too many students graduate from college with huge college loans and, in this economy, with limited opportunities for employment. Therefore, our high school students need a more flexible curriculum. The high school curriculum should not be a one-size-fits-all program.

    Not all students want to attend college. No students want to graduate from college with massive debt. By offering more trades and allowing more flexibility in the curriculum, kids can get a head start on life with vocational training or learn a trade that they can work at while they attend a 4-year college or university.

    Flexibility can begin in middle school where kids can get a "taste" of what their interests and aptitudes are by providing at least one period per day where they get to explore a trade or skill. If a child spends 2 six weeks in an area of his/her choice, he/she can "explore' 3 vocational areas per year. By the time the youngster gets to high school, the he/she should have a pretty good idea as to whether they want to pursue a college-prep route or a vocational one.

    Then, educators, legislators, and other stakeholders need to think outside the box when it comes to how to set up the high school curriculum. As a former high school teacher myself, I know that vocational training can provide "real world" opportunities for students to learn and apply sound reasoning skills, mathematical knowledge, reading skills, and writing skills-- and these skills can be made to be challenging, not watered down. Educational research has proven that kids can learn challenging material/skills when they have a reason for learning those skills/knowledge. Math, science, writing, and other skill-oriented subjects can be incorporated into vocational/elective curriculum offerings in very imaginative ways if the stakeholders (teachers, curriculum specialists, parents, students, and legislators) determine to do so.

    As a result, our Texas students can be prepared for college and also be prepared to make a living without a college degree, if need be or if they want.

  5. Comment

    Rather than following Germany's model of deciding a person's career in the fourth grade, our education system needs to be revised at the high school level. Students should have the opportunity to explore different career fields that make them excited about coming to school. Not everyone is meant for college. Thus, vocational careers should also be explored. Instead of focusing on preparing students for only college, high schools should strive to prepare students for life after high school, regardless of what that entails. If students are able to see more options for their future, we would see higher graduation rates.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Germany's system does not determine your career in 4th grade. Rather that is where students are set up in different tracks but still have several options available to them. Also the reason you need to divide earlier is because our students are not coming to high school with the skills they need to prepare them for college.

  6. Comment

    Improving education in Texas requires two steps.

    1. Get rid of Perry

    2. Set up a Simpson-Bowles type commission that includes some Red Tape Cchallengers.

  7. Comment
    Ken Hargesheimer

    The solution to the education problems is very simple. Close the US Department of Education, close all state offices of Education; restore the local school board and teachers power.

    Mark Ahlness recently retired after 31 years as a public school teacher. He lives in Seattle, Washington and is looking forward to spending more time with his wife, his cats, his banjo, and his bicycle. Other passions include birdwatching and speaking out against the US education system's obsession with testing and data.

  8. Comment

    I agree that the goal of high schools should not be to prepare every child for college. That is unattainable and undesirable. We need to focus on teaching other skills and trades as well. To do this we need to greatly increase our vocational programs and have more than one track for students to complete high school, with one track focused on university prep and others on other goals. I agree that the Germans have a great system and part of that system is not trying to force everyone into the same program.