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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Looking to save money? Eliminate high school



A local columnist for the Winter Haven News Chief suggests that Florida's education system can solve its budget woes with one simple move - dumping high schools.

"You only need an eighth-grade education to read, write and do basic math," writes columnist Dan Insdorf, who calls himself a former teacher. "This country was built by people with less than eight years of schooling."

Teens should be tracked into academics only if they are so inclined, he says. The rest should go to vocational or technical schools, most of which can be completed in a year or so.

We can't all be doctors, engineers and lawyers. There is an old a joke related to academic versus vocational career choice: A homeowner calls a plumber to fix a leak under his sink. The plumber arrives, spends five minutes under the sink and charges the man $100 for the job. The homeowner protests the bill and states that doctors don't make that much, to which the plumber replies: "Why do you think I stopped being a doctor."

We haven't heard of any school districts that are heading in this direction. They've been adding technical and vocational education to the academic program, to offer kids broader options. But since the idea is now out there, we just had to share.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:51am]


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