Recent cuts in federal funding for vocational and technical education have added more fuel to the “should everybody go to college” debate. Matthew Yglesias, a blogger for the Center for American Progress, writes that it’s “at least plausible” that some students might learn basic reading and math skills in a vocational setting. But the focus should be on learning those skills, whatever the setting:
But we need to keep in mind that at the low end, the outputs from the American educational system are currently really really bad. It’s not about everyone needing to have basic reading and math competency so they can go to college; it’s about everyone needing to have basic reading and math skills so that they know who (sic) to read and do basic math.
According to the most recent data, 37 percent of Ohio eighth graders were proficient in reading and 36 percent were proficient in math. Those figures are for the state’s performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card.