How the failures of K-12 education are killing the skilled trades. “Where are our electricians, auto mechanics, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) workers and CNC (computer numeric control) operators? We’ve ripped out all the shop classes and replaced them with calculus.” Not calculus but lotsa agenda-driven BS. They’ve dumped the skilled trades and replaced them with the shilled trades.

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

RKae January 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

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One of the big things they push is “You can be anything you want to be!”

They don’t wan’t to be the bearers of bad news: “You are not going to be a superstar. You are going to get a job that you really didn’t dream of doing. But learn to do it well, and learn to make your days off count for something. Get a good hobby.”

I go to schools to talk to kids about writing, and one point I have to press repeatedly is that being a writer is something you have to love doing… BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE A MILLIONAIRE! In fact, it will usually COST you to get your book out.

It’s a tough road getting American kids to believe that an ordinary life is worthwhile.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm

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Kids and their parents that are wise enough to choose an education in a skilled trade, will be making more money than college graduates in the future, as the flood of college grads depress the wages in the marketplace, and the dearth of skilled technicians, will increase the pay scale for those jobs.

WAIT! The future is here!
Crowley is sitting in mommy’s basement collecting food stamps, while even unskilled workers are doing better than him.

Want fries with that?

RKae January 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm

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During the California gold rush, the people who dropped everything and ran out west to get rich actually wound up with a whole lot of disappointment. The people who DID make good money were the people who opened general stores, selling blankets, pick axes and pans to the starry-eyed dreamers.

There really is something to be said for thinking realistically.

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:35 pm

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And the pack train operators that delivered the stuff. Then there was Levi Strauss.

StrinaM January 9, 2013 at 8:05 am

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If A + B = C, then how many wealthy people must we fleece to make everything fair?

RKae January 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

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The most important thing is that we never define the word “fair.” it must be an ever-elusive goal at the end of a rainbow, and no matter WHAT we do we can keep using the phrase “we still have a long way to go.”

jcrowley1985 January 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

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flashingscotsman January 9, 2013 at 8:55 am

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TD,……………………………………………………………………MO.

RKae January 9, 2013 at 9:34 am

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Gee. Don’t those corporations need buildings to work in? And don’t those buildings need to be built and painted and maintained? Don’t those buildings need locks on the doors and security systems installed? Don’t they need bathrooms with plumbing? Don’t they need electricity? Don’t they need air conditioning and heating?

jcrowley1985 January 9, 2013 at 9:40 am

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PsychoDad January 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

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Shuddup, Creepy Crawley

RKae January 9, 2013 at 9:50 am

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I guess we’ll just have to uninvent the computer.

And I guess you’ll just have to stop using it. How ’bout starting on that right now?

KimmyQueen January 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

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LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL That is the stupidest thing I have read all week!

Alien January 9, 2013 at 11:16 am

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some of this thinking has given me pause before (though its completely fascinating to me as I hobby around AI in gaming):

http://singularityhub.com/2011/09/19/ai-journalist-writes-sports-and-now-everything-else-statsheet-raises-4m-changes-name-and-focus/

I just hope humans can find enough other things to specialize in to keep pace

sa_rose January 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

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Reread your post and note the stupidity of thinking globilization and digitalization will get rid of buildings, much less everything else listed. Seriously do you EVER think about what you post?

poppajoe49 January 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm

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No, he doesn’t.

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm

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He’s not capable.

TD,………………….MO.

Big Al January 9, 2013 at 9:38 am

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Try harder fluff boy.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 9:49 pm

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I’ll tell you what Crowley, when you show us your first paycheck, you can comment on corporations, until then, STFU you stupid fucking asshole.

PsychoDad January 9, 2013 at 9:41 am

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Well I dunno about Racine, but my oldest son went to the local Vo-Tech High School (of which I was admittedly skeptical) but he came out with some very good academics as well as solid work skills, including a LOT of computer design/software skills. In fact, over the weekend maybe I’m going to have him teach me some soldering skills for a little hobby-project I’ve been working on for a few months.

Maybe techs are discouraged? Ours has a very good rep, and is one of the highest -rated schools in the state, and that’s Massachusetts so I think that speaks quite well of it.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 9:53 pm

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I went to Vo-Tech in High School during my Junior and Senior years.
I got an education that I could not have gotten anywhere else.
Those were lessons in life and work ethic that no college professor can give.
I remember when Vo-Tech was looked down on as a place to send problem children that refused to learn, now it is a place to gain skills that will make you more successful than many college grads, right Crowley?

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

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I tried working in the tool crib of the automotive shop at a Vo-Tech school when I was a kid. I couldn’t understand Spanglish, so I had no idea what they wanted from me.

poppajoe49 January 11, 2013 at 5:30 am

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That’s because you lived in Mexifornia.

Ruben January 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

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When Little Johnny gets a “Participant” ribbon (no one finishes in first place anymore) for his answer, “1+1 = Potato” because we must nurture his self-esteem, then doesn’t that say we’ve already lost the war for public education?

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

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We lost that war when people like this:

http://www.ihatethemedia.com/chicago-teachers-union-prez-kill-the-rich

took over our children’s education!

KimmyQueen January 9, 2013 at 11:11 am

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It is so true! Education has become too chi chi and fru fru and hotie toity and if you haven’t read this book by this grade you are not smart crap. It is better to actually know how to re route a circuit or fix something that read whatever in order to study what the author’s viewpoints on life is :-/

Calculus is highly important any Math and Science class for that matter but the chi chi fru fru classes for real those needto be purely elective and get more hands on career focus trades and so on in there. I love my shop class I was one of the few girls there, but I liked it. Make crap from your own hands from scratch and I love my home economic classes and being able to cook from scratch and make clothes or whatever… That is valuable too, and there were the random male in them as well. Come on!

guysmiley January 9, 2013 at 11:18 am

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I’ve been doing HVAC-R work for 25+ years–everything from the smallest wall air conditioner to huge built up systems on large facilities. Technology is always changing, but there will ALWAYS be a need for a plant operator and/or service techs. Computers will not run everything. There are always mechanical components that will need service and repair/replacement. Computers and digital controls aren’t going to unload a pump or compressor off the back of a truck and install it, you friggin’ idiot, Creepycrawly.

jcrowley1985 January 9, 2013 at 11:37 am

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Alien January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

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3D fab in every home.. someday
i expect there will be constitutional wars about whether it’ll be a right to have a replicator in 2120

guysmiley January 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

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You’re in my world now, Creepy. Yes, the office folks can work from home via the internet. Tell me how to run schools and prisons from your house. Computers and digital controls can CONTROL facilities, but there will always be a need for technicians for service and repair of said systems. We will always be in demand in my lifetime and the forseeable future. Because they keep cutting trades from schools, techs like myself are harder to find these days-competent ones, that is. Maybe you should leave the basement and apply for one of these jobs. They pay $50-80K, depending on your knowlege, which right now doesn’t seem to be much.

RKae January 9, 2013 at 12:19 pm

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No, Creepy’s right! I don’t have ventilation in my home anymore; I get ventilation off the internet. And there’s no need for plumbers anymore because I now pee and poop digitally.

Not so silent January 9, 2013 at 12:31 pm

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Digital Poop?!?!?!? Damn I gotta wipe coffee off my screen again….LOL

PsychoDad January 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm

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That isn’t coffee . . .

Not so silent January 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

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Oh God Now I am going to have to go home……eeeeewwwww

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm

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Not so, you’ll be able to phone in your job soon, won’t you? I know I could easily have phoned in building bridges and stuff. No reason in the world to put down the Cheetos and get off the couch.

TD,…………………..MO.

StrinaM January 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

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LMAO!

Bonfire of the Absurdities January 9, 2013 at 4:55 pm

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“And there’s no need for plumbers anymore because I now pee and poop digitally.”

It’s only January but this is an odds-on favorite for “Comment of the Year.”

KimmyQueen January 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

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LOLOLOL

Not so silent January 9, 2013 at 12:23 pm

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So now vacant buildings are caused by corporate greed….Answer me this Einstein…..When you take a dump and use toilet paper are you not contributing to corporate greed? When you sit on a toilet made by a corporation are you not endorsing corporate greed? the keyboard your using right now numbnuts was made by some kind of corporation, so was your computer. When you sit here day after day using the internet, are you not responsible for corporate greed? If you would just mail letters the post office would stay in business and you could stop supporting your local internet corporate greed company….Sell your computer, move you and mommy into a refrigerator box (environmentally friendly) and eat only what grows under the freeway overpass..only then will you be free of corporate greed….Before you move, look up the word hypocrite, you’ll see your picture next to the definition.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm

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The refrigerator box was made by a corporation.

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

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I love vacant buildings. They’re really cool to take pictures of hot models in.

ooddballz January 9, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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Crowley, you would need to raise your IQ about 1,000 points to qualify as a low level imbecile.

I don’t even read your posts any more, just seeing your name here lowers the collective IQ of these boards by about 100.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 10:06 pm

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What are you going to do when you have a short in mommy’s house? Have an electrician fix it over the internet? The plumber going to digitally replace your water heater? The roofer going to fix that leak with his smart phone?
Your stupidity knows no bounds.

sa_rose January 10, 2013 at 8:31 am

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Idiot. The buildings are empty because with our economy and the Government making starting or maintaining a business nearly impossible, small business owners are getting out, because they can’t make a living. Corporations could not use those small sites anyway. Do you even evaluate what you say for common sense? GOVENMENT REGULATION IS KILLING BUSINESS> Corproations are just big enough to weather the storm better than small business.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 10:02 pm

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LOL guysmiley, HVAC-R is what I went to Vo-Tech for!
I haven’t done it as a full time job in over 30 years, couldn’t take the heat in attics, and I’m too big to really work comfortably in an attic or crawl space, but I did like the work. Heat pumps were relatively new technology in the mid 70′s when I went to school, and the technology has advanced so greatly since then, that I would be totally lost without a tech manual.
Crowley is so mind numbingly ignorant of any of the stuff we could discuss here, that it’s not even worth trying to explain it to him.

guysmiley January 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

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poppa, I guess in Creepy’s digital world all buildings and components therin will magically repair themselves. I’ve been looking for the Unicorn dust that I could just walk up to a broken unit and sprinkle on it, and it would repair itself. I think they sell it at one of our parts vendors, but it’s very expensive and usually on backorder!

poppajoe49 January 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm

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Well, you can always use a hard start kit in the meantime. That was as close to unicorn dust as we had back then.

DefHarryMelon January 9, 2013 at 1:07 pm

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For some reason, PJMedia won’t load at all on my machine. Been going on about a month now. I used to go to their site about everyday. now whenever I try, it just spins and spins. Never loads. Never gives a message. Never stops. Never loads. I’m bummin bout dat.

Bonfire of the Absurdities January 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm

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I’ve had this problem in the past with sites (but not with PJM) and usually I can get the page to load by going to another browser – for example, if it won’t load under Firefox, it often works under Internet Explorer. If not, things that can stop a page from loading are your cookie settings (I don’t permit cookies for most pages but have not had this stop PJM from loading – other sites, yes) your privacy/security settings (“Internet zone” vs. “trusted zone” in Internet Explorer) and/or out of date or non-functional add-on applications like Shockwave, Flash, etc, etc. Also, if your browser version is out-of-date (Firefox is up to 17.0.1 now) downloading the latest version can help. For IE, make sure you have the latest MS fixes. Java scripts can sometimes be the problem as well as pop-up-blockers and other 3rd party add-ons. You can also open an error console in either FF or IE which will tell you what line of the HTML is stopping the load. I don’t remember offhand how to start those but the Help Info in the browser should tell you how this is done.

Obviously, the cause of the problem can be difficult to track down so I usually try switching browsers first. 9 out of 10 times that works which is why I mentioned that one first. :)

DefHarryMelon January 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm

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PJ used to load no problem with Firefox since I changed to that several months ago. I updated my Firefox today, it was a rev number old. That did not fix it. My settings are to clear out everything each time I shut it down. I tried to get on with Chrome, which also used to work, and it fails as well. I worked on a different IP address and it went through without a hitch. I’m not happy about it. By the way, Firefox is now up to 18.0 and there are no error messages or anything. It just keeps the busy signal rolling without stopping. I let it run over an hour today and it did not stop, did not give a message and did not load.

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm

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I set my computer to ask me before allowing a cookie. It slows things down a bit, but I have much less crap in my Temp Internet files.

Progressive Hemrrhoid January 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

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Unfortunately it’s getting harder and harder to find people with anything resembling mechanical ability. High Schools used to have an Auto Shop and Wood Shops / Metal Shops, no more now they all just go home and play violent video games. Most have no interest, they somehow think that they’ll get their dream job right after they get their diploma.
I have some bad news for them however………

poppajoe49 January 9, 2013 at 10:12 pm

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Those jobs as video game testers are few and far between.

RKae January 10, 2013 at 8:38 am

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One thing I’m really burned out on hearing about is “eye/hand co-ordination” as some HUGE plus of squandering one’s precious heartbeats on a sofa playing a video game. As if 1.) there was some massive deficiency of eye/hand co-ordination in the human race and video games came along to save us just in the nick of time; and 2.) you can’t just as easily develop eye/hand co-ordination by learning to play the cello, the piano or actual real live tennis or baseball.

sa_rose January 10, 2013 at 8:39 am

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At my children’s 6th grade graduations (where did THOSE come from? My first graduation was from High School) a number of children listed what they would like to do in the future. An astounding number of Hispanic boys with parents 5’5″ or less said they wanted to play for the Spurs. We need to quit telling kids the can do ANYTHNG. THat isn’t accurate. Aguy 6’6″ will never be an aviator-he won’t fit in the planes. A guy 5’4″ will never play professionl basketball. That is simply reality. Support kids, evaluate their strengths and offer ways to utilize them (that wil take care of the self esteem issue) and look for ways to improve their weaknesses. THat build character. And every now and again, expose them to things they know nothing about. That may turn out to be their passion and life’s work. In the meantime, even skilled trades require the ability to read, with good comprehension, and do math up through at least trig. SAee to it your kids get what they need.

poppajoe49 January 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm

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Spud Webb.

flashingscotsman January 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm

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SOMEBODY has to drive the trash truck. We can’t all have a dream job.