Ohio bill limits school year to fall between holiday weekends, to boost tourism

Posted Thursday, April 28, 2011 12:13 PM | Contributed by Jeff

One lawmaker wants to change Ohio's school year so the state's amusement parks, resorts and tourist attractions can flourish from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Read more from The Zanesville Times Recorder.

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Friday, May 6, 2011 5:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Saw this story and had to share with this thread.

Help Wanted On Factory Floor

"...the U.S. education system isn't turning out enough people with the math and science skills needed to operate and repair sophisticated computer-controlled factory equipment, jobs that often pay $50,000 to $80,000 a year, plus benefits."

ADDED - Which led me to a new way of looking at my own way of thinking from a different angle and I think I figured out what bugs me about the 'learning general skills' thing:

It's not additional skills as much as it's an extention of the skills we all learn for 12 years. All you get is arguably more profiecient at what anyone can already do.

Perhaps the reason the US is falling behind in the workplace is because of this approach. Could it be that other countries are better preparing their students to do specific tasks more than we are?

Jeff said:
There's clearly plenty of room in the US. If it was there, we wouldn't hire so many H1-B's and new immigrants as we do at work.

Or maybe other countries are pumping out kids groomed to write code?

There are a range of skills you acquire in college that serve a bigger context of work. As much as I had no desire to take all of that liberal arts "crap" (psych, business, science, even religion), the process of study itself made me a better contributor in every job since.

Yeah, but you still had to learn the specific skills to do your job. Why leave that to chance? All the liberal arts 'crap' might make you more rounded, but unless you can write code, it doesn't mean squat for a job in programming.

Twenty years mounting bumpers on Fords does not teach you anything that you picked up in four years of college.

And on the flip side, all the college experience (as you describe it) in the world isn't going to teach you to mount a bumper on a Ford.

Or on the flip flip side, twenty years of doing anything isn't going to teach you what you pick up in four years of college.

Seems messed up that the two sides (work/productivity and school/learning) are so mutually exclusive.

I think that's what was lying there irking me that I didn't see until now. You still need to learn the skill set for any given job somewhere.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, May 6, 2011 6:13 PM
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Friday, May 6, 2011 6:24 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Or maybe other countries are pumping out kids groomed to write code?

Not the case. The great irony here is that most of these cats came here for college. They're coming here for school, and staying for the opportunities. India wouldn't be "pumping out kids" to do this just so they could leave.

Yeah, but you still had to learn the specific skills to do your job. Why leave that to chance? All the liberal arts 'crap' might make you more rounded, but unless you can write code, it doesn't mean squat for a job in programming.

As long as you're convinced that the job-specific skills are all that matter, there's no talking you out of this. Remember, I went to school double-majoring in radio/TV and journalism. Changing careers didn't invalidate my education. My education enabled me to change careers.

And on the flip side, all the college experience (as you describe it) in the world isn't going to teach you to mount a bumper on a Ford.

Nope, but 15 minutes of training and you can learn how.

I think that's what was lying there irking me that I didn't see until now. You still need to learn the skill set for any given job somewhere.

Right, but the jobs that are harder, and pay more, generally require more diverse education and training. You can't be a doctor or lawyer learning on the job. Even for my line of work, I'd argue that the act of studying itself, a soft college skill, is what allowed me to change careers.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, May 6, 2011 6:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
As long as you're convinced that the job-specific skills are all that matter, there's no talking you out of this. Remember, I went to school double-majoring in radio/TV and journalism. Changing careers didn't invalidate my education. My education enabled me to change careers.

But you can't ignore the job specific skills. You just can't. You have to know how to do something before you can do it.

Maybe this is why we hear these stories of kids with degrees having trouble finding work or taking crap jobs? Because while they're educated, they don't have any useable skills.

Job skills aren't all that matter and I don't mean to imply that if I am, but without them, you're just educated and unemployed.

Right, but the jobs that are harder, and pay more, generally require more diverse education and training. You can't be a doctor or lawyer learning on the job. Even for my line of work, I'd argue that the act of studying itself, a soft college skill, is what allowed me to change careers.

But you still had to learn to write code. There's no denying that. The learning of job-specific skills has to take place at some point...even prior to any learning on the job, there has to be some assemblance of skills.

I'd argue that you're the kind of person who had an interest and followed up with it, teaching yourself the skills needed to switch careers. I think where we differ is in where we put the importance of a college education in making you (or anyone) that kind of person.

Eh. What do I know? I just can't see the idea of it being an extention of everyone's schooling (the 13th - 16th grade thing) as being very useful. But for me to say that is essentially trying to tell you that you didn't get out of college what you think you did. And that's not right. I can't do that. How do I know?

---

But I do wonder who gets hired:

1. The college educated applicant with no job-specific skills.

or

2. The high-school educated applicant who already performs the job-specific function to some degree.


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Friday, May 6, 2011 7:02 PM

To answer your question, Gonch; #1, because you have to have a college degree (or be actively pursuing one) to even get your application looked by most places other than big box retail/fast food now.

However, to go along with Gonch's line of thought, I've started to see job listings where a specific degree is required instead of just listed as a preference. So I think that he is right in the regard that maybe we need to start encouraging and focusing on kids pursuing specific tracks, even at an earlier age. I won't dispute that a general core isn't a needed thing, but I do wonder if we aren't over-emphasizing the general studies classes.


Original BlueStreak64

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Friday, May 6, 2011 10:56 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
But you can't ignore the job specific skills. You just can't. You have to know how to do something before you can do it.

No kidding. Who suggested otherwise? You're arguing something different now. You keep insisting that the general skills acquired in college don't have any value.

Maybe this is why we hear these stories of kids with degrees having trouble finding work or taking crap jobs? Because while they're educated, they don't have any useable skills.

No, I think they're just lazy people. And you've got an anecdotal straw man.

I'd argue that you're the kind of person who had an interest and followed up with it, teaching yourself the skills needed to switch careers. I think where we differ is in where we put the importance of a college education in making you (or anyone) that kind of person.

I suppose. As others have said, the sheer will to go to school and finish it certainly teaches you how to survive, adapt and continue learning. Isn't that the biggest reason that people can't change to meet the needs of a changing economic reality? Because they never learned how to keep learning?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:28 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
No kidding. Who suggested otherwise? You're arguing something different now. You keep insisting that the general skills acquired in college don't have any value.

I'm not sure that's what I was arguing though. I think I'm arguing they don't have the value that actual directly-applicable skills do. Or even more so that the two together have.

No, I think they're just lazy people. And you've got an anecdotal straw man.

Not at all. I might be stretching it to a bigger picture and drawing my own correlations, but it's a valid thought. If they're lazy then the system should have weeded them out before they got a degree. If they're not lazy, then whatever they learned hasn't translated to real-world usefulness. It's kind of a lose/lose.

One man's 'lazy' is another's 'someone who put in the time and money and got the piece of paper because that's what you do after high school to be successful' - either way, just because you have the college education doesn't mean you're any more useful. (speaking in terms of the unemployed degree holders)

I suppose. As others have said, the sheer will to go to school and finish it certainly teaches you how to survive, adapt and continue learning. Isn't that the biggest reason that people can't change to meet the needs of a changing economic reality? Because they never learned how to keep learning?

I dunno, I think it's a bit of a catch 22. You seem to think you need to be one of these people to really get through and get anything from a college education and I seem to think these kind of people would get to a similar place (personally, in terms of skills and abilities) regardless. They just need the formality of a college degree to play the game.

I guess my distain is threefold:

1. I don't think the 'general skills' thing is the most effiecient use of the additional 4 years of schooling.

2. I don't think the degree proves additional ability. That is to say you can skate by meeting a minimum standard and still be called 'qualified' much like kids slip through high school without really learning enough to be as useful as a diploma would indicate. (although admittedly that seems to be more an issue with schooling in general as opposed to just college education)

3. The system blows and that so much importance is put on the college degree over actual ability kinda sucks. Screw da man! :)


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Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:57 AM

Something else to consider with our current economic situation is that there are a lot of cases where recent college graduates aren't getting jobs because the job market is flooded with a lot of experienced workers (both with and without degrees). This makes it even more difficult, and is leading to a lot of true under-employment from what I have experienced.

And Gonch, I agree with point #1 above. It is needed, but I think it is over-emphasized.


Original BlueStreak64

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Saturday, May 7, 2011 12:47 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
[They just need the formality of a college degree to play the game.

This summarizes why arguing this with you is exhausting. It's statements like this that imply you think nothing goes on at school, that it's just a formality. As long as you believe that, you'll never see the value in it.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Saturday, May 7, 2011 4:25 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I don't think it's true for everyone, but on the same note it seems you don't think it's true for anyone.


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Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:25 AM

Jeff said:
College isn't a vocation school. I've been writing software for 10 years, a fairly technical occupation, with a double major in radio/TV and journalism. If I had gone to grad school, then yes, that would've made a difference in terms of my education as it relates to occupation, but even then, if you're clever enough to make it through grad school, you're clever enough to change careers when you feel like it.

And if you think getting a degree is just about writing a check and putting in the time, I'm going to assume you don't have a degree.

Yeah well, you assumed wrong.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:54 AM
Jeff's avatar

The cookie is on its way to you or anyone else who thought it was really that simple.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 3:58 AM

Jeff said:
And if you think getting a degree is just about writing a check and putting in the time, I'm going to assume you don't have a degree.

While I don't agree that's what college should be about, my experience (at Toledo) certainly felt that way. Or at least that's what the administration there wanted it to be. Anyone hoping to get more out of it than it just being a financial transaction was generally looked upon as an annoyance. I'm sure that's not the case for all schools or for all students, but for me it was very much a get you in, take your money, get you out kind of process.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:34 AM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I'd say you chose poorly and should have transferred out. I didn't sail through many 300 or 400 level classes.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 10:45 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But it makes me feel better (in a twisted personal satisfaction sort of way) to see people coming out with college educations saying they tend to agree. Makes me realize I'm not crazy.

And yes, Chris may have needed to choose better, but it's confirmation that the situation I've been stuck on since we started this whole thing on facebook way back when does exist.

Your college situation was awesome. You win. But there are people getting degrees in exchange for time and money with little to show for it than a degree. I still think it happens more than youre giving credit for. I know more people like Chris and RGB than like you. My anecdotal evidence says you're the minority. (although that might say something for the crowd I attract more than anything ;) )

I still suspect the truth lies somewhere in the grey area. I don't doubt you can get a lot out of college or that many people do. But I also don't doubt that you can skate by and get the piece of paper and that a lot of people do.


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Thursday, May 12, 2011 11:36 AM

Been away from the thread for a while, but...

...there is a difference (a big one) between "going to college" and "getting an education". "Going to college" puts you in an excellent position to get an education---all the resources are there for the taking. But, "getting an education" requires some active involvement and commitment on the part of the student.

A surprising number of students don't get that, even after it is explained to them. More than once, I have told a student struggling in our program that it was in their best interests to leave and stop wasting their time and money until they are ready to actually *do something*.

There is also a difference between schools' ability to convince students to "get an education" rather than "go to college". Interestingly, it has very little to do with what the school does, and a lot more to do with who goes there. If a good chunk of the people you hang out with are "getting an education", then it's more likely that you decide to "get an education" too. If a good chunk of the people you hang out with are "going to college", then by golly that seems like a good thing to be doing.

Beyond that, I have no idea how to convince kids that they need to "get an education" while they are "going to college"---and I work at a place where an easy majority "get an education". But, I can tell you that if my kids are not ready to "get an education" when the time comes to "go to college", that (a) I will consider myself to have failed and (b) I will encourage them to wait to go on until they get it.


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Thursday, May 12, 2011 12:00 PM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
And yes, Chris may have needed to choose better, but it's confirmation that the situation I've been stuck on since we started this whole thing on facebook way back when does exist.

Well of course it exists, but you're making the argument that it's typical (or I assume you wouldn't bother with the argument at all). I think Brian really does a great job of describing what goes on. I would say that my school was overwhelmingly full of people who "got an education" as well. Those who didn't weren't around even for my junior year.

I wish there was a better way for me to measure it, but I will stand by my observation that college grads, and especially those who participate in campus life, are better equipped to be successful professionally. I actually feel even more strongly about that in the last year and a half, working with a number of people who are not college grads. They're strong peers, but the thing holding them back is in some of the soft skills not tied to any particular field of study, but rather the bigger context of getting an education.

We can't all grow up Lord. ;)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 12:37 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Brian Noble said:
...there is a difference (a big one) between "going to college" and "getting an education".

Just curious where you sort classwork vs. living a campus life.

I went to a school that was incredibly expensive and incredibly hard to get into, but I think most importantly incredibly hard to get out of. You really couldn't get a degree by avoiding eye contact and slipping through. There really wasn't anyone there who was just there to "go to college" but I don't know if that was because the strict admissions filtered those out or because the cost (financially, academically, and emotionally) of just staying enrolled was so high.

Should we open the can of worms about whether the "top" colleges are worth the effort compared to other colleges?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 12:58 PM

Jeff said:
I will stand by my observation that college grads, and especially those who participate in campus life, are better equipped to be successful professionally.

I think that is assuming causation. It may well be the case that the type of person who goes to college and sticks it out to earn a degree is better equiped to be successful professionally rather than college actually making him/her so.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011 1:09 PM

That may be true, Professor, but you must admit that you'd like to think you had something to do with it... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
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Thursday, May 12, 2011 2:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:

Well of course it exists, but you're making the argument that it's typical (or I assume you wouldn't bother with the argument at all).

At least enough so that it's an issue.

I think Brian really does a great job of describing what goes on.

Agreed. As usual.


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