By Leib Lurie
I concur with the high spirited opinion piece from Tom Dunn, calling out the various idiocies and idiosyncrasies of the politically appointed Ohio Department of Education.
However, the piece may have left some people scratching their heads about what was really being discussed.
In this case …
1) New rules from on-high will make it virtually impossible for hundreds of thousands of talented and eager-to-work teens to get a high school diploma.
2) The inane rules will mandate that young people with strong and innate skills in mechanics, electronics, elder care, or nursing, to name but a few, will be denied entrance to those fields; and relegated to the minimum wage basement.
In short: There are certain high school mathematics and science courses that are perfectly tuned as academic college prep for the many students striving in that direction.
However, for the large group of students that find higher level college track course requirements impossibly steep to meet, these new arbitrary rules will leave them out in the cold. Forever.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to be an effective mechanic, supervisor or manager.
It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to be a wonderful caring nurse, competent administrator or craftsperson.
Yet only those who can handle statistics, quantitative reasoning, and simultaneous-equate can pass the rigorous courses essential for NASA scientists but irrelevant to those high school seniors wishing to receive the most critical certificate to enter the middle class; a high school diploma.
One that will allow them to move into two-year career schools; and the many college majors that don’t require these rigorous yet overzealous courses mandated by Columbus.
Those folks are worse than the judges locking away first time offenders; they are sentencing many of your kids to a lifetime of poverty.
Leib Lurie is the board president of Kids Read Now, kidsreadnow.org. He can be reached at Leib.Lurie@kidsreadnow.org.