Slow road to nowhere
I value every job in our economy; we all should. I believe that every profession is worthy of our respect for without it the rest of us would frankly, not get far.
However, I do question our educational paradigm. I question the value of teaching someone who ultimately ends up holding a road sign at a construction site about Caesar or the quadratic equation. Indeed, this must be a world of equal opportunity and so we mustn’t be tempted to refuse someone the option of forging ahead. Nonetheless, by middle school it’s clear that some are going to be going farther than others. Wouldn’t it make sense to focus more of our teaching, for those who are opting out of the professional path, on more life oriented skills? Do they really need geometry or would other classes such as basic personal finance be more appropriate?
By the way, I went up to the lady whose picture I had just taken and got into a conversation. It turns out that she has a Masters in English but is unable to find work. She’s been doing this type of filler work for about six years now and does not foresee re-entering a professional track.