November 26, 1997

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Vol. 17, Issue 14
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According to GM, high school students thinking about an engineering career would do well to take advanced mathematics, complete a science sequence through physics, and hone their computer skills. Students who want to step into skilled-trade apprenticeships should consider: algebra, geometry, and physics for future carpenters and pipefitters; additional units in chemistry and trigonometry for aspiring electricians, machinists, model makers, and tool and die makers; and courses to develop communication and computer skills across the board.
Few experienced English teachers will not have encountered such a query, usually posited in a confrontational tone, during meetings with parents or alumni; I have attempted to respond to some form of this challenge at three different schools.
Who would tell a student to make it on his or her own with little help except for some cheerleading? As silly as it may seem, that is precisely the path we are now choosing for our public schools as states raise their standards for education, while not providing teachers or students with the assistance they will need to meet these more rigorous benchmarks.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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