By Renee Smith | J&R Tutoring Academy of Indiana

Renee_blog-photo_72dpiShould Your Five-Year-Old Go To College?

Well, of course not!  Five-year-olds are just learning how to read, write and count!  But this is a question with which parents begin wrestling long before age five.

But should we?

The articles about the necessity of a college education compete on an almost daily basis with the articles on the pros and cons of the Common Core Standards.

I am not an advocate for a position. I have a Master of Arts degree in Education. I always knew I was going to college. My parents did. My children did and the conversation of college for my grandchildren began some time ago.

However – not every child is college material!! I tend to be a bit of rebel. While pursuing my MA, I often took a position on a paper that did not follow conventional wisdom. In one of those papers I posited that all of the changes made in public education since the 1983 publishing of A Nation at Risk have not improved the system.

Although the most recent statistics reflect a small increase in graduation rates, the drop-out rate continues to remain above 20%.

I interviewed for a position to teach English at one of the seemingly endless “new colleges.” The students were all high school graduates, and I was told their English equivalency was eighth grade!!!

Over the past 30 years graduation requirements have increased significantly. This, we are told, is to prepare our future leaders for the high-tech, world-wide economy.  Okay. How many of the current high school students are going to be those leaders?  Five percent? Ten percent? One percent?

Let me restate – not every child is college material! This is not the end of the world. The list is long of very famous people who are not college graduates. The two most frequently mentioned today are Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. History is littered with many other great men and women who possessed great talent, but lacked a college education!

So, go ahead and plan for your five-year-old to go to college, but if he or she balks along the way, don’t panic. Who knows? The next Steve – or Stephanie – Jobs may be living in your house!!
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