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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Are Rock Hill Students Prepared For the Future?

I was stopped by a parent this week who said we didn't offer anything for students who don't want to go to college - and that was the reason there are so many drop-outs. The parent was not aware of our Applied Technology Center or the many programs we have to keep students in school. This leads to a discussion on whether students should be pushed to take continuing education after high school. The graph below shows the unemployment rate by highest level of education achievement (red - high school drop out, purple - high school graduate, green - some college or associate degree, blue - college degree). I would be hard pressed to say it was the education level that leads to employment - for it may be the work ethic that allows people who achieve those levels to be good candidates for employment. Many of the issues that cause people to drop out of school (attendance and or discipline) are also issues which would prevent employment.

A recent survey by Clemson University on the state of public education in South Carolina shows a disconnect between what educators and parents think compared to what business and taxpayers think. However, there is agreement on:

They all have high expectations for their public schools. But they differ on how to achieve the expectations.

Control over student behavior is seen as key to determining if a school is doing well. A majority of parents, educators and taxpayers ranked control of student behavior ahead of graduation rates, SAT scores and promotion to the next grade in determining if a school is doing well. (Business professionals were not asked this question.) Nearly everyone believed students’ living in poverty is a problem that schools cannot overcome on their own.

The State Newspaper has an article on the report in Sunday's paper. You can download a copy of the presentation made to the State Education Oversight Committee by clicking here, or you can get an summary of the report here. You can also read the press release from the State EOC about the report here.

Overwhelmingly, business stakeholders agreed that to be successful in the work world, students need:

The ability to communicate effectively

Commitment and motivation to do a job well

Reading and writing skills

Computer skills and industry-specific skills were not rated as important.

1 comment:

vamoe said...

I am sorry some people do not know about the excellent and varied programs offered by the Rock Hill Schools which prepare students for college, the workforce or the military. We moved here some years ago and inspected all the schools in the county, deciding on Rock Hill as offering the best variety of education for our then baby. I spoke this week with a man who has a tenth grade education and four children, who is worried about the education he did not get. He also feels that the schools in Rock Hill offer the best education for his children. When looking in York County for a place top live, his family decided on Rock Hill for a variety of reasons, including the schools. "Since I do not know what my kids will need, the schools have to give them a lot of different things" was his thought. I spoke recently to a University teacher who has her doctorate and who insists her child be in a school system with a variety of people with a variety of career plans, and wants to assure herself that the child is "living in the real world with all kinds of people." She, too, is happy that the Rock Hill schools provide that variety. Obviously, some people have not made themselves aware of what is offered.

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