Corporate America and Education-History Repeats!

Found this article on NPR today and it got me thinking about where we are going.
Paychecks Can’t Keep Up With Rising Prices

I am one of those people who studies history in the hope that we learn from it and don’t repeat it. Well looking at the current economy I hate to say it but in some ways we are heading for a repeat. As the NPR article points out we have corporate America seeing increasing profits, and stockholders with higher dividends while the workers see their salaries going down! Looks alittle like pre-1929 America, but with jobs not being destroyed only relocated to countries like China, and India. By the way, Gov. Markell do one of those names look familiar because while you were learning about them and their education system they were learning about how they can help themselves!
So what does this have to do with education? Well, we have the so called “Business Roundtable” continuing to ask both the federal and state governments to push for improving the rigor of education so that we can compete with the global economies. Yet I have not seen where these same business folks are helping find a way for the families of the students to pay for the colleges we are pushing them towards! When you have to decide between paying for food or the roof over your head I don’t think college is on the top of the expenses most folks not in the upper classes can afford to consider! So then we see Delaware families sending their graduates to the 2 year programs that a free SEED education can pay for, but guess what they come out and there are no jobs to be had near their homes that utilize the skills they aquired so they leave!
So the question has to be, “How do you motivate a student whose family is just trying to survive to see the need for rigor in education, or that they need to attend college they can’t afford?” The answer someone might give is that there are always scholarships, grants, and loans they can get to attend school and improve their situation. Well as the economy struggles there are less and less dollars available for scholarships and grants, and if you can’t pay for your mortgage who is going to give you a loan? If the businesses and corporations out there truly wanted to be a part of the solution then instead of trying to push our students for college ready they need to make sure the students families are also college ready! Lets not go back to a time when folks “sold their souls to the company stores just to feed their families!”

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About Gary M Wolfe

The Author spent 10 years as a member of the Milford Delaware Board Of Education, and is currently seeking the 18th Senatorial seat in the Delaware Legislature.
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