What does it mean to have an education? I have my own prejudices about that. I think that every kid who graduates from high school should be able to read a newspaper article (especially since today’s newspaper articles are so “dumbed down” from what they were 50 years ago), be able to express themselves in writing in a way that other people who are members of the common culture can understand, and be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide without recourse to a calculator or other computer as well as have a basic understanding of algebra, geometry, and trig. They should have a basic understanding of American history and of world history as well as a basic understanding of our political system. In addition to being able to speak Standard American English with some fluency they should have a basic conversance with some modern foreign language.
Some basic survival skills would be handy, too. Grocery shopping. Opening a bank account. Balancing a checkbook. They should know how to swim.
Some of today’s shibboleths are IMO completely absurd. While understanding computers is handy, being conversant with a particular version of any particular program is next to useless. I think that being able to program a computer is no more necessary for most kids than knowing how to build a car or a telephone. It’s pretty handy knowing how to perform really basic ordinary auto maintenance, for example, filling a gas tank, changing a tire, but a lot more than that?
Think I’m setting too low a standard? Think again. A lot of college grads these days don’t have the skills I’ve outlined above.
What skills do you think a high school grad should have? A college grad?