Friday, August 19th, 2011

America: Teaching Young People What Is Up!

Here is the most dramatic quote you will read in the newspaper today, from the organizer of a summer camp for girls that teaches them how awesome "manufacturing" is: "Not letting your children learn the hands-on component of the theory of science is killing us as a nation. You have to stop giving kids books and start giving them tools.”

Yes, books are destroying America's girls. (Don't get me wrong, I'm all into girls learning to make things! It's just… let's say, complicated. Since the public schools already funnel students into "white collar" and "worker" channels at an early age.) In other news, the story of how the State Department's summer cultural exchange program dumped visiting college students—many of whom are enrolled in "medical and engineering graduate schools"—into harsh assembly-line jobs at a Hershey's plant is hilarious: "In a meeting at the plant last week, which a student recorded on a mobile phone, a manager advised them they could be fired and the council might send them back home if they engaged in a protest." Welcome! Now you've got a through education in USA! USA! I think we can find a solution here. Just shove the girls in Hershey's camps and have the foreigners make all our lampshades.

9 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk (#1,249)

I was going to make the "we could make the lampshades out of the…." joke and then you cut me off at the pass with your tag. Choire, you are an internet wizard.

oudemia (#177)

And people mock Foucault as so much impractical theory.

jolie (#16)

Choire, while your point is well taken, if you could see some of the idiocy that lands in my inbox you'd think twice before discouraging the teaching of vocational skills to girls.

NB to the 'Pinners: I love your idiocy. You just worry me greatly.

JoshUng (#11,371)

"Okay, we have a noble intent, to make women feels its okay to be in manufacturing, now, lets think, how do be best screw it up?

"Uh, make books the enemy" Brilliant!

Ham Snadwich (#11,842)

NPR had a story about Alaskan fish processing plants using J-1 visas to hire foreign students to gut fish for 12 hours a day. Not sure how that facilitates cultural exchange.

deepomega (#1,720)

@Ham_Snadwich The fish were also poets.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that 50 lb. box of Kit-Kat bars.

David (#192)

Aside from questions of manufacturing companies opportunistically seeking “near shore” low cost labor opportunities by attracting and training very young women to do (and presumably—eventually manage) manufacturing jobs … You have to wonder what the current trends in manufacturing employment are and if they will follow US historical trends in educational attainment.

As noted by the National Center for Education Statistics: At the start of the 1970s, men dominated higher education. At the time, 55% of male high school graduates attended college, while 49% of female high-school graduates did. As result, men were close to 60% of all undergraduates and 70% of all graduate students. Today, just 42% of undergraduate college students are male, 58% of undergraduates and 62% of graduate students are women. (Similar gains have been seen in most OECD countries and in many major developing economies.)

And while changes in educational attainment by women is not a story of women’s gains coming at men’s expense … (the decline in men’s education is clear, above and beyond a shift of educational resources to women) … Women’s post-graduate educational attainment are even more remarkable. Women have driven 80% of the overall growth in MAs awarded since 1970, and a stunning 99% of growth in both professional and doctorate degrees. Arguably, this overstates the case, because women started from such a low level. (In the 1970's, for example, women received only 14% of doctorates and 6% of professional degrees.)

deepomega (#1,720)

And again, let's remember why this happens, at the end of the day: Because the US does not let any of the many, many, many people who want to work here into the country. The difficulty of getting H1s and whatnot is so laughably insane that OF COURSE companies will go to stupid lengths to make this shit happen.

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