Guest Blog – College is the New High School

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

This is a guest blog from that fine writer and homeschool mom, Cindy Lajoy. I love what she wrote here, and think it’s well worth a look.

We had a great big laugh yesterday afternoon when my hubby and I were talking about how uneducated the average American is these days. To prove it, I got the idea of looking on You Tube for Jay Leno’s “Jay Walking” segments, the ones where he goes out on the street and stops whoever is passing by to ask basic questions about a specific topic. Since we are going to Washington, DC in a week and did a quick overview of some basics about American History to prepare, it was sheer luck that the first segment I pulled up was one he did on American History.

How utterly sad is it that our 11 and 13 year old daughters, new to this country a mere year ago, were able to correctly answer every question he posed with the exception of ones about the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner which we haven’t taught them yet, but the adults he interviewed couldn’t answer the most basic questions…and I mean BASIC…such as “In what year did America win it’s independence?”…and “Who did we win our independence from?”…and “What happened during the Boston Tea Party?”. Even more depressing is how these adults laughed so casually at not knowing such basics. Making matters worse is that one of the women he stopped was a high school US history teacher, and she knew the least.

Our 13 year old laughed so hard at first, then when we moved on to another segment about geography where Jay stated before hand that he had a hard time believing a new statistic that came out that showed that 11% of all American adults can’t find America on a world map. She looked up at me and said “Is that true Mom? They can’t even find their own country on a map?” and I answered “Actually, I am certain it is true…many of us were never taught any geography at all in school. I wasn’t.” and she got this stunned look on her face and said “Mama, thanks for homeschooling us. I never want to be THAT stupid! This really isn’t funny, is it?”

No, Angela, it’s not.

Someday, we will all stop laughing about how poor our educational system is, and will look more closely at what this system produces. We hand 18 year-olds diplomas that are meaningless to prove anything more than seat time spent in a class, for they certainly don’t prove that a core amount of knowledge has been obtained over a 13 year period. When a young adult can complete high school AND 3 years of college and STILL be unable to count change out for a customer (I hired two like this not so long ago for our restaurant…my then 8 year old spent an hour teaching them how to count change back and not rely on the register), we have a terrible problem. When a young adult can not correctly spell the name of the high school they graduated from on a job application (more than I can count), we have a terrible problem. When we have young adults who think the Panama Canal is located in Mexico or that Iraq is located in Africa (true answers), we have a major problem.

I’m sorry to say it, but if 50 years old is the now equivalent to 40 years old, then college is the new high school. The remediation most colleges are complaining about having to do with incoming students proves it. I guess one could say that they are paying a high price for the equivalent of a high school education when writing that check for the first year or two of college. The statistics reflect this to be true as well, as students are taking far longer to graduate than the expected four years. Eventually parents will catch on and get angry about it, but until then, a fool and his money are soon parted.

2 comments on “Guest Blog – College is the New High School”

  1. Someday, we will all stop laughing about how poor our educational system is, and will look more closely at what this system produces.

  2. And when we DO really look, instead of laughing there will be much tears and gnashing of teeth…

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