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Wisconsin lawmakers plan to drop state math and English high school graduation requirements

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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:27 PM
Original message
Wisconsin lawmakers plan to drop state math and English high school graduation requirements
This is quite amazing.

High schools would be allowed to drop math and English graduation requirements to set up vocational-only diplomas under a bill being backed by Gov. Scott Walker.

The plan in the governor's special session on jobs would let local school boards decide their own curricula and create vocational diplomas that carry the same weight as regular high school degrees. Oshkosh Assembly Republican Michelle Litjens supported the change at a public hearing. She says right now students don't always see a connection between the classes they're taking and the labor market, "And sometimes they're right. For the student who doesn't have the desire to pursue a higher education, who just doesn't want to sit still in an English class anymore, why are they there?"

Democratic sponsor Mark Radcliffe of Black River Falls says learning a trade should not be looked down upon, "We have to be realistic---I mean just be real about it. These kids if they have an opportunity to switch that out with something, they should have that opportunity. Not every kid fits the same mold."


http://www.wpr.org/news/display_headline_story.cfm?stor...
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. How else can they sell the 999 plan?
Dumbing down of the US continues.

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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. I can't read what you wrote because that moving bug distracts my eye.
I guess you think that kind of thing is cute?
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. What bug?
:hi:
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
22. I've been trying to squish that damn thing with my thumb, but it aways evades me!
That's one tough bug!
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I like it!
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gater Donating Member (270 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. That's all you got? Really? Complaining about the bug?
Edited on Sat Oct-22-11 01:37 PM by gater
Maybe I really do need to stop coming here, despite being a member since pretty much the start. (Don't let the post count fool you).
I guess I will believe it was sarcasm.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. No, dear. I can't read what was written because of the graphic bug.
I was not being even slightly sarcastic. If something is moving in my field of vision, I cannot read. That goes for all the busy ads and for New Twitter which bounces around.

But I really appreciate your empathy. (Now that is sarcasm.)
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cui bono Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. Open up windows explorer or finder and put that window over the bug while you read.
It's an important post.

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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
3. That's OK. Fast food registers now have pictures to push and compute the change.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
6. Them Chilren Doesn't Need to No How Two Rite and Rede.
Edited on Sat Oct-22-11 01:32 PM by MineralMan
They just needs to learn how to work, dammit! Lookit me! I flunked all that stuff, and I'm a damn stait leguslature.
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
7. In the land of the blind, the one eyed man will be king.
Indeed.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bad that 'vocational training' has been omitted from h.s. curricula
in 'recent' years, but WRONG to offer either/or diplomas, imo. Vocational, art, music, athletics, foreign languages, etc., should ALL be part of h.s. curricula, not all mandatory for every student.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Welcome to tracking kids education as they do in Russia.
I personally find this terrible. It does certain violence to the idea that America (at least the Wisconsin part of it) is a land of opportunity.

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Turbineguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
11. "The World
Edited on Sat Oct-22-11 01:39 PM by Turbineguy
needs ditchdiggers too!"

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. I am all for promoting trade school, but this is wrong
Would you want an auto mechanic who can't count or do basic math? That'll lead to more inaccurate billing at auto repair shops.
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. How about a house built by someone who doesn't know
how to measure stuff..or an estimate for shingles for a new roof from someone who can't figure the square footage..or how to figure the time factor for putting it on. Math, reading and writing are essential to being successful in this world.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:19 PM
Original message
When I'm in the nursing home
I want to trust that the worker who gives me my medicine knows how to read and how to measure.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
14. And graduation rates will rise
while the idiots who came up with this less than brilliant plan will take credit for a reform plan that worked.

Teh stupid. It burns.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I wonder if such low grade graduates will then try to go to college
I can't see any of the UW schools looking highly upon graduates who didn't do math and English. Unless they are scholarship athletes.

Or maybe the universities will just have to spend more on wasteful remedial classes for these low quality students.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I doubt they can get in without Math and English credits
:shrug:
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murielm99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. That is what they will do.
Those remedial classes that many colleges, especially community colleges offer, will be filled to the max. Those are non-credit classes, too.

I don't think that is all bad. Some people, especially those who went to poor high schools, need those classes. At our community college, I see those classes filled with jocks. I know the basketball coach over there. He makes sure his boys take those classes when they need them, and that they do their homework. I think it is great that some of them are learning some study skills and some substance for the first time.

About ten years ago, I took a couple of those classes. I wanted to take the GRE and attend grad school. It had been twenty or more years since I had high school math. I took two refresher courses. It was a great help to me, and I actually enjoyed them.

However, I do agree that UW and other schools will not look highly on grads who do not do math and English. They can still require those subjects for admission, and they should! It may be the way to keep Walker and his cronies in line. Do not lower your standards, UW!

Walker is so anti-intellectual. I think he had a bad time in college, and he was too dumb to compete academically. That is why he has a bug up his ass about education.
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postulater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yikes, it has a Democratic sponsor!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. The current 'deform' movement is cheered on by many Democrats.
These stupid ideas are not coming only from republicans.
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Unfortunate trend- even the POTUS isn't our friend
I agree that far too many Democratic lawmakers are jumping on the bad education policy bandwagon. But I truly thought our Wisconsin Democratic legislators had more sense than this...
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Kip Humphrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. Can someone enlighten me, what vocational training doesn't require math & English language skills?
...just wondering.

:banghead:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. None that I can think of
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Scuba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. Voting Republican. n/t
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. LOL!!!
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digonswine Donating Member (463 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
26. This COULD actually be a good thing, if-
done thoughtfully. I don't know about "vocational-only." If it was more of a vocational emphasis while incorporating math, etc.
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. It's a problem if it limits future growth potential
If I decide to go to college, after all, but I only have a "vocational degree" that no university will take, then I'm stuck in the track I chose when I was 14.

Yikes.
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #26
35. Vo-Tech used to be a respected education path
Edited on Sun Oct-23-11 11:18 AM by mzteris
I'm not too sure about how WI is going about - because anything those bastards in office do are suspect! . . . BUT

this country has been sold a huge bill of goods that says, "if you get a college degree you can be a success" BULLSHIT!

Too many people are going to college who have absolutely NO BUSINESS GOING TO COLLEGE! They don't need it, they don't really want it, they don't benefit from it, and - in fact - do nothing but incur huge debts for absolutely no good purpose other than to party for a few years.

Yes, all high school students should be taught how to read and write PROPERLY. Taught mathematics. Taught science and HISTORY (real) and true SOCIAL science classes. But those students whose aptitudes, heart, and minds are more geared towards jobs that DO NOT REQUIRE A COLLEGE EDUCATION should be just as encouraged, just as valued, just as celebrated.

We need to go back to more apprenticeship programs, and structured training and development in the art of jobs that require the use of certain skill sets - plumbers, electricians, carpenters, bricklayers, mechanics, etc... they are just as important as the guy with the PhD - and just as smart - albeit in different skill sets.

I think it's a travesty that we've developed this message to people that say they aren't "worth" anything if they don't go to college. That's bull.

Classes back when I was in school were either General Studies, Vo-tech, or College Prep - YOUR CHOICE (and your parents and guidance). It didn't mean that the Gen Studies or Vo-Tech student didn't get a "good education" - they did, but they didn't have to take Intro to Calc and Advanced Creative Writing (unless they wanted to.) Their high school diplomas looked just alike, just their transcripts were different. They could still go to the local community college (something we need MORE of) but that community college was ALSO geared towards either - going on to University, an Associates, or a Vo-Tech emphasis.

I was highly disappointed in our local community school when it changed it's name from Madison Area Technical College, to Madison College to give it more cachet and "status".



edited 'cause a rant always causes typos!
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saras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. Because we all know there's all these jobs out there that don't require math or language
Say "hello".

If there's a hamburger on the plate, push the button with the picture of the hamburger. If there's a hot dog, push the picture of the hot dog.

When they give you money, put all the little tin pieces in the box with others like them. The same with the paper pieces.

Give the customer back the pieces the cash register tells you to.

Say "thank you"
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Sabriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
28. There's more to education than knowing how to DO something
There's also using literature (fiction and non-fiction) as mirrors and windows...reflecting one's own experiences and looking into another perspective/culture. And let's not forget developing the skills to be a critical consumer of media and text.

And math is more than just passing a standardized test or a timed multiplication drill. It also involves learning how to analyze a problem, eliminate unnecessary information, etc.

This is disturbing, to say the least. We're heading toward a undereducated underclass system that's even more split than the one we're protesting right now.

Worker bees, anyone?
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. Along the lines of your comments, this author makes some excellent observations about this Bill.
"...Your bill seems to imply that the core curriculum of Social Studies, English, math and science is unnecessary for students of a particular type. Im not sure, and your bill does not explain, who the target audience is for these vocational courses. Is it those who lack the mental acuity for the mastery of the core academic subjects? Or is it those who through lack of motivation, or through personal preference would rather not take those courses and would welcome a chance to get a High School diploma by taking only vocational courses? Or would school districts make the determination of who should and should not take such courses? Finally, perhaps the local employers would have a say in what students were enrolled and how they would be taught. A lot of unanswered questions.

As a retired Social Studies teacher who taught in a school district not far from the legislative district you represent, I have serious concerns about the effects of such a program if it were to become law and if it were adopted widely.

My first concern is that the bill seems predicated on the belief that one does not need a broad education but can function well if only trained in a narrow specialty. That approach has two major flaws, in my opinion. It sets the student up for failure in an economy where jobs evolve quickly and skills become obsolete over night. But it also assumes that work is the only important part of a persons life; that an ability to understand current events, to discuss and participate in public life, to judge the soundness of public policy or to grasp the concepts of our economy are not needed. That is terribly short-sighted and would, if widely implemented create a class of drones whose only purpose is to do the menial tasks of our society."

http://cottageonthemoor.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-lette...
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
30. Are these the standards being dropped?
This is from a WI DPI website page last updated in 2009.

Section PI 18.03, Wis. Admin. Code

PI 18.03 High school graduation standards. (1) COURSE REQUIREMENTS. Beginning September 1, 1988, a board may not grant a high school diploma to any pupil unless the pupil has:

(a) Earned a minimum of 12.5 credits in grades 9 to 12 as follows:

Four credits of English which incorporate instruction in written communication, oral communication, grammar and usage of the English language, and literature.

Three credits of social studies which incorporate instruction in state and local government.

Two credits of mathematics which incorporate instruction in the properties, processes, and symbols of arithmetic and elements of algebra, geometry, and statistics.

Two credits of science which incorporate instruction in the biological sciences and physical sciences.

1.5 credits of physical education which incorporate instruction in the effects of exercise on the human body,health-related physical fitness, and activities for lifetime use.
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lutefisk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-22-11 04:06 PM
Response to Original message
31. Here's the actual legislation. It allows dropping science & social studies, too.
Here's a sloppy copy & Paste. The link is below.

ASSEMBLY BILL 18
October 11, 2011 − Introduced by COMMITTEE ON ASSEMBLY ORGANIZATION, by request
of Governor Scott Walker and Representative Radcliffe. Referred to
Committee on Education.

AN ACT to create 118.33 (1m) of the statutes; relating to: authorizing a school
board to grant a vocational high school diploma.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, a school board may not grant a high school diploma to any
pupil unless the pupil has earned at least 4 credits of English, 3 credits of social
studies, 2 credits of science, 2 credits of mathematics, 1.5 credits of physical
education, and 0.5 credits of health education.

This bill authorizes a school board to grant a vocational high school diploma to
a pupil who has not earned the academic credits specified above but has earned a
sufficient number of credits in vocational subjects, as determined by the school
board, if the Department of Public Instruction has approved the school districts
vocational curriculum.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
In lieu of granting a high school diploma under sub. (1), a school
board may grant a vocational high school diploma to a pupil who has not earned the
academic credits required under sub. (1) but has earned a sufficient number of
credits in vocational subjects, as determined by the school board, if the department
has approved the school districts vocational curriculum.


http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/data/SE1AB-18.pdf

:hi:
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Nikia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 09:19 AM
Response to Original message
36. Since students take around twice as many credits
There should be plenty of room in their schedule for vocational credits without having to sacrifice the minimal academic credits. Vocational courses should be offered but they should be taken seriously by employers or students might be worse off taking more than a few. If a student has taken several vocational courses in one field and cannot get a job in that field because they don't have a degree in it, they would be better off taking more college prep classes.
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