Dear Randy Shaw:
Just to comment on your story about newspapers. Last year, I was part of a focus group at the SF Chronicle. They listened to what 2 out of the 10 people liked, and ignored the rest of us. And then they wonder what their problem is?
To the Editor:
The argument for keeping summer school is it keeps kids off the streets? If that’s the overarching issue, these kids and society would be far better off if we required 2,000 hours of documented work experience or community service as a prerequisite to graduation. In my 30+ years of working, we’ve always had a need for more entry-level staff, but could not justify the expense. Today’s 16-year-olds would be far better off working in an office, doing routine clerical tasks and having lots of high quality adult contact than they would in a classroom.
Educators will argue this would “lure” kids into the workplace earlier, and discourage them from staying in school. I don’t think so. First, they would not be paid. So there’s no financial incentive. Second, they will be doing mostly menial clerical tasks which will more likely make the case for more formal education to get a better job than they are currently qualified for. Finally, America’s dirty little secret is that we create mostly “junk jobs” – low skill, low pay. We waste too much of our limited tax resources giving people high school diplomas and college degrees when an 8th grade diploma would be more than adequate.
Most employers want cheap labor. An acquaintance with a BA degree was told by a prospective employer, “I’d hire you if you only had an AA degree, but you’ll want too much money and you’ll be bored.” He’s been unemployed for nearly a year. He could have had a job if he had LESS education.
Dear Rochelle Metcalfe:
Your article on “The City Preacher” was one of the most informed I have read about the Rev. Amos Brown and Dr. Jeremiah Wright’s message. The JOSHUA GENERATION (40 and under) have some tall mountains to climb. Dr. Wright speaks truth to power!
To the Editor:
Beyond Chron’s School Beat provides great education coverage. It is a refreshing change from the vanity press / vanity school press releases of the SF Chronicle. I wish your paper was available in print.
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San Francisco, CA 94102