This has to be a short piece to introduce some new ideas for major systemic changes here in the U.S. because our system is broken, and it has been so for some while. The goal must be to change things from the bottom upwards.
Because there are too many high school graduates who are unprepared for life. There is too much focus on graduating from college, and not enough concentration on preparing every student to be able to feed and care for themselves and their future family. This weakness in grammar school, middle school, and high school can and should be changed.
Two things have to happen. First, we are short jobs in our nation because we have become a "throw-a-way" society. We fix nothing, and we fill our land-fills up to over flowing. This wasteful practice is brought about by making things with cheap labor and it has bred laziness in all of us. Second, our elementary school system needs to be reorganized into three segments: students who a show a capacity and desire for higher education, those that are in the middle and may be late bloomers, and those that do not show their mettle for the books.
This has been done in the German system for a long time. In the fourth grade each student is tested and divided into the three groups I mentioned. The lowest group is given a choice of trades, and they attend school one half an day, study the concomitant detail of their chosen trade, and become apprentices the other half of the day. Middle school students are given a curriculum slightly less stringent than the top group. The middle group has the option of being tested once or twice if they prove to be able to keep up with the highest group. The highest group is on a fast track to the university and a professional vocation. Finally, the middle group is well prepared for further education in a profession which can be accomplished in two years, when now every profession requires four or more years. The cost benefit advantages make this system far superior to what we do now.
Each level of student is psychologically prepared for life. They have the skills to cope with earning a living and the knowledge to be productive in their own realm, and the ability to reach the top of their respective vocation. In our education system the focus is college and far too many students fall through the cracks. All one has to do is look closely at: high school failures, college drop outs, and college failures to see the system is broken.
So, let's think about returning our country back to making our own quality products, teaching our next generation to repair them, and we will return our manufacturing base back to our nation. There will always be some-thing-for-nothing in our culture but this quality attitude needs to be our goal. The jobs that have been lost overseas, and the jobs that went away in all segments of business and industry will be slowly changing. Overseas, less than the draconian cutbacks to middle America, will have little or no change. Once Washington cleans up the small business health care and tax picture for stability, and the rest of the employers can understand where the politicians are taking us, we can look forward to the job engine running on all cylinders again.