Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hartford Will Stop Teens From Taking Adult Education Classes

File this under - "Do schooling our way or no way at all".

Never mind that adult education works better for some teenage students, and never mind that they have left Hartford's school to escape the distractions and apparent unpleasantness of public education... they will be stopped from taking adult education classes! Hartford's Superintendent of Schools, Steven J. Adamowski, plans to make it more difficult for kids to drop out and go the GED route by doing the following:
Students can't enroll in the adult diploma program unless they have already earned at least 15 high school credits or can pass a test.

Adult education classes will move from two locations to a central location at 110 Washington St.(thereby making it more difficult for kids to get to)
The Hartford Courant printed this story - Getting Teens Out of Adult Education.

Apparently 70% of the people taking the high school diploma program through adult continuing education in Hartford are under 20 years old. That says something to me about the public school system - I mean just look at the reasons these kids are giving for dropping out of public high school and instead obtaining their high school credentials through the GED process.

"There is less distraction here"
"It's a smaller environment."
"some students have difficulty adjusting to high school"
"I was on the verge of getting expelled because of all the drama, all the fights (at school)"
"teachers in high school are pushing you out into adult education"
"Some (kids)have been threatened by gangs" and "Adult education is seen as neutral ground."
"There is a culture at the regular high schools where some students just don't fit, for whatever reason,"

It might very well be that some of these kids also already have employment and need to supplement their families income, and school is something they can only do as adult education.

So if it works - then why stop them?

We know that Hartford is responding to high drop out rates..and, superintendent Adamowski claims "We've had a terrible system where we've allowed students to drop out [of high school] or be pushed out into [an adult] program that has much lower standards than a regular high school diploma." - So it looks like he is admitting that the GED program is a somewhat substandard education, but that's not what everyone who tells people to go for a GED are saying! A GED is supposed to be the exact equivalent of a high school education. Even colleges accept it as such.

From the ACE website:
Passing the GED Tests, with an average score of 500, for instance, puts you in the upper half (top 50 percent) in terms of class rank and lets colleges know that you have the skills and knowledge equivalent to applicants from traditional high schools.
It is too bad that in Hartford, Superintendent Adamowski is are trying to force kids through a system that obviously doesn't work for them. He should recognize by now that there are many kids who can achieve a high school education without the help of a brick and mortar traditional school... heck thousands of homeschoolers do that everyday!

Here's a previous post on Homeschoolers and High School Diplomas.

I say if the kids don't want to be in the system then they shouldn't be there and instead should be given other options that are best suited to their goals. If these kids took the initiative to drop out of high school and then go through the GED program then they ought to be left alone to accomplish what they set out to do.

1 comment:

Lisa Giebitz said...

It seems to me that parents (and adults in general) can't decide if their teenagers can make decisions or not.

Teenagers are not automatically crazy and irrational. If you let them be that way, if you EXPECT them to be that way, they will very likely be that way.

However! If you expect them to step up and take responsibility for their decisions and their futures (and LET them do so, even if they make some decisions you wouldn't), they likely will.

I never want to have "teenagers". I'd like to raise my kids to become young adults, when they'll have a real voice and real responsibilities.

Personally, I think we as a society need to stop perpetuating (and prolonging) adolescence as an excuse to keep young people from taking control of and responsibility for their lives.