While I try to keep my political ranting to a minimum because of my relative ignorance on most subjects that fall under the umbrella of "politics"... But this one is too easy to screw up.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, in addition to having a ridiculous name, also has a story today about Jeb Bush advocating a plan which would require Florida's high school students to pick a major and take core classes in that area of study.
Let's back that up a second for the nation's prospective philosophy majors, shall we?
Under Gov. Bush's plan we're going to ask 14-year-olds, people too young to drive cars, drink, vote, serve in the military or even stay out past a 10 p.m. to try and decide a career path for the next 50 years of their lives.
Yeah, Jeb is in a real dogfight with Jesse Ventura for the cover page in my upcoming book, Great Moments for Dumbass Governors.
I'm not very convinced that 18-year-olds are up to the task of making breakfast, much less long-term decisions and think European ideals of having students take a year between high school and college are worth exploring here. Now, Bush has decided that people who aren't trusted to not set fire to town gazebos after dark or to be trusted with a firearm under the supervision of a gunnery sergeant should be allowed to set a prudent course for the next half century? Yeah, yowza...
Is it the end of the world? No. Will this lock students into the career path they choose when they enter high school? Hell no. Will there be a run on Physical Education "majors" in Florida's high schools? Uhhh, you bet.
My high school used to allow us some leeway when we'd been there a few years. Not just in the Spanish or French, Chemistry or Physics combinations, but the sciences had Microbiology class and the history courses were pretty customizable, too. Nothing too crazy, but plenty of room to start looking at possible career choices.
My question? What the hell is Florida doing now?
Business and technical career programs are cited as a positive to the proposed plan, essentially allowing students with no interest in college to get a jump on a career in high school. I wonder what percentage of schools don't have programs like this already in place. Auto shops seem pretty common and after-school work can help there as well.
I don't think the danger lies in what the plan proposes, but rather that it'll make it too easy to clip arts, music and other elective courses. While the Seattle story lists an arts track, I'd need to see it in the final proposal to believe it.
At a point in American education where private funding and VH1 Save the Music drives are propping up music programs across the country, I don't trust government to keep these classes on the books, period. Opening the door to school boards being allowed to slash music programs because they don't see performance-based careers as viable options scares the hell out of me and I don't even have kids yet.
Never mind the fact that a broad knowledge base is important for students, regardless of age, but also consider that even college students are prone to major changes several times in their careers there, but just think of the problems with hundreds of high schoolers changing their "majors" several times each.
Yeah, really stupid idea with a huge backfire factor. Sounds like par for the course for the Bush kids. I wonder if there's a jackass politician career track on the drawing board yet?
(Photo from Rotten.com)