This is the season of high school and college commencements. Excitement abounds for families whose great American dream is to have a graduate! In many parts of the world students walk great distances to enjoy a privilege while we place less value on a right.
Education comes in many forms. As you sit in high school graduations this month, listen carefully for the metrics that are used to keep score. We might think that this is about SOL's or accreditation. It is actually about the number of students who go to college and the dollar value of their scholarships. The perception is that the higher the percentage of graduates attending four-year-selective institutions and the greater the dollars attracted, the better the school.
It is the dream of parents and the focus of counselors. Frequently you will hear conversations that include, "Is your son going to college or to work?" Well, we better hope that they are all going to work or you know where they will continue to live. The "going" to work is often with a lilt in the voice or an inference of disappointment. While we should be proud of those who are continuing their education, we should also be proud of the students who have acquired skills and certifications that will make them successful in the work place. Have you needed a plumber recently?