A Critique of Phyllis Schlafly disbelief on School-to-Work Programs

Essay by truomeUniversity, Bachelor's March 2003

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The 11th day of November 1992, an 18-page "Dear Hillary" letter was written stating the implementation of Marc Tucker's "cradle-to-grave." This letter focused on the school-to-work Opportunities Act (STW) that President Clinton signed in 1994. It was coordinated by the local, state, and federal level to allow the use of counselors and computers to match jobs for students. Author Phyllis Schlafly disagrees with this act. She argues that students need to be taught the basic knowledge and skills; not vocational training that would better serve the workforce. However, from personal experiences school-to-work program can be an effective tool for students in high school, as long as their opinions are included in the selection process of the course.

The school-to-work program is a quick transaction for young students who go from being educated to being trained how to work. Students are trained with instructions and repeated practice in their specific job.

Schlafly states that training is something "you do to your dog. And that's exactly what school-to-work is..."(Schlafly 71). These jobs are not even selected by the student or their parents but by the school. The school even considers job selections as early as Elementary School. Schlafly objects that school-to-work would only eliminate important teaching students need "to fulfill the American dream." (Schlafly 71).

What is a school-to-work program? Schlafly defines it as educating and training students. She gives a book definition of education, as "[b]ecoming skilled" in different subjects. What she fails to understand is when you train someone they are also "[b]ecoming skilled"(Schlafly 71). Schlafly only gave her personal definition on training as something you do to a dog. Olson argues in her essay that training allows the students to receive hands-on work experience. Schlafly falsely defines training to win her argument when in actuality it is an...