Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Washington State Kids Going to College

The Seattle Times reports that Washington State is near the bottom in the rate of students going to college (two-year or four-year) after high school. There's a companion story about an elementary school in Kent that's trying to get kids thinking about college from the very beginning. Washington has a higher percentage of adults who have gone to college than average and yet a low percentage of young people who go. Why? Because a lot of well-educated people move here. See Trends: Washington state's higher-education paradox, Seattle Times, Sept. 22, 2012. Wouldn't it be great if our own students could get the educations they need to work at Microsoft, Nintendo, Boeing, Amgen, Genentech, and so on?

We need to remember vocational programs in community colleges and technical schools, too. I know a young man who is finishing a two-year welding program at a community college, and he should be able to get a job and make a good living. We need good mechanics, carpenters, chefs, electricians, nurses, medical technicians, dental hygienists, and more. To get training for these fields, students still need to get through high school and enroll in a program. Study skills, reading, math, and language arts will be important to them, even if they don't choose to go to a four-year college.

I have sometimes tutored a teenager who didn't have enough homework for the hour and yet did not want to read a book. If your student is like that, you try reading these articles together and talking about them, for a little reading practice and an opening to talk about what comes after high school. There are some math skills to practice, too—reading charts, talking about percentages.

If your or your student like, try this list based on these news stories.

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