Critique Of School-to-work Programs

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Now we have to Work in School In her article "An Avenue to High Academic Standards," senior editor Lynn Olson of Education Week, a national newspaper which covers topics of kindergarten to 12th grade education, promotes efficient school-to-work programs which combine the learning found in high school and the learning from job internships because Olson feels such programs prepare high school students for college and their workplace. Olson's argument is appealing because her motive is to help high school students deal with a problem, their transition to college and the workplace. So should we agree with Olson that school-to-work programs be instituted in schools? No, because although Olson's intent to help high school students is honorable, whether supplementing academic curricula with workplace teachings through an internship will help a majority of students prepare for work is not conclusive. School-to-work programs should not be utilized in high schools because the experience a student has in a job internship during high school may differ from the experience the student will have in the workplace.

Lynn Olson explains that school-to-work programs integrate teaching academics and skills for the workplace through an internship to prepare students for college and careers. High school internships prepare students for college and careers by showing students that success in academic courses results in success in their current work programs and eventually their future careers. Once students realize the connection between academics and success in their internships and careers, students have been inclined to undertake more academic coursework in high school. After graduating high school, positive experiences with internships continue to motivate students to take on academic coursework by encouraging students to enroll in college because students want to have successful careers in the field they interned in. To ensure students reach their next goal of a successful career...