Lynn Peters, director of Business-Education Partnerships for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry, discusses how high schools in Wisconsin often direct most of their efforts toward the 25 percent of kids who graduate from college. Excerpted from NCREL's Rural Audio Journal, Vol. 2, No. 3, From School to Work - and Back Again: Youth Apprenticeships in Wisconsin (NCREL, 1994).
"If you're aiming high school education at preparing students for a university, then you're really only aiming all of your efforts at twenty-five percent of the kids, and that leaves seventy-five percent of the kids who frankly don't have specific skills to go to work. What happens to a large number of those seventy-five percent is they get out of high school, they go to school, they drop out, whatever, they get a job and it's a very introductory kind of level job, and all of a sudden they're making what seems to them to be a lot of money and they can have a car, so then, over a period of several years, they develop more commitments, they may get married, they might have a kid. All of a sudden that job doesn't way nearly enough and it has no future, and then they wind up at the technical college at age twenty-seven."
This Critical Issue was researched and written by Kathleen Paris, Director, Leadership Institute for School-to-Work Transition, Center on Education and Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Date posted: 1995