Parents and Politicians Should Listen to Educators and Not Academicians

April 20, 2005 Editors Note: Old but little has changed. 11/29/16

America's primary and secondary educational systems are not preparing students for life after graduation because academics, not educators, have control of curriculum. 

Academics are scholarly and knowledge is of prime importance, especially in their area of expertise where they feel everyone should have substantial knowledge. They usually leave primary and secondary teaching for college teaching or become involved with curriculum development and academic standards beyond the local level as part of some autocratic organization. Many go to education conferences, write curriculum article, textbooks and standardized tests.

Educators enjoy students and the classroom environment. Learning is important, especially if the material will help the student enhance their economic and social well-being. Educators believe intelligence is normally distributed. They get discouraged when teaching a curriculum designed by academics because said curriculum is often beyond the grasp of academically average students. Academics who are influenced by their prejudice toward intellectual material and publishers who are concerned with profit control textbook content. Testing is just one example of the academic to publishers to profit scenario.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) measures the academic success of students graduating from high school. Changing from a two-part Scholastic Aptitude Test to a three-part test has made a lot of money for many people. Business Week recently reported that Kaplan, a unit of The Washington Post, saw SAT-related revenue increase by 50% in the latter half of 2004.  Princeton Review reported a revenue increase of from 20% to 50%. SAT companies got a similar revenue hike from the 1994 test change. New tests mean a new curriculum which mean new books written by academics and more  profit of publishers.




Publishers influence and subject prejudice cause academics to send the wrong message to parents and politicians. They want us to accomplish No Child Left Behind as measured by testing. The logical question is Behind What?  Every Child Employable and well-adjusted socially should be the goal.  Our educational system must prepare students to enter the labor force. Our data source for available future jobs will be the U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Quarterly Winter of 2004-05 reports that about 75% of 2002-2012 jobs openings (42 million out of 56 million) will be filled by people entering the labor force for the first time and do not have a bachelor's degree. This analysis seems to contradict the politically correct notion that our educational system should prepare most students for college. This belief exists because academics and media often report that 49.9% of the fastest growing “newly created” jobs will require a bachelor's degree or higher. Never existing jobs is a small number of jobs.  Wall Mart produces none, zero. We have had retail workers for hundreds of years. They are not “new jobs” Even this data is skewed higher by the 603,000-doctorate degree jobs predicted because more people are expected to attend college and require more teachers. Predictions do not always come true. Systems Analyst ranked first in the 1998-2008 projection with an expected increase of 577,000 jobs. By the 2002-2012 report, their rank had dropped to 25th with an increase of only 184,000 jobs.

Historically, the number of people receiving a bachelor's degree is substantially larger than the number of jobs requiring a bachelor's degree. The Department of Labor Fall 2000 Occupational Outlook Quarterly page 9 reports a college graduates oversupply of 1,900,000 for 1988-1998 and approximately 900,000 for 1998-2008. The two-decade oversupply total is almost three million graduates. That is just two decades!  Economist Richard B. Freeman was one of the first to write about the oversupply of college graduates in his 1976 book The Overeducated American. Not All College Majors Are Created Equal has an analysis by major of the likelihood of a college graduate having a college level job. See Options for Graduates

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