Kuna school board members had an interesting discussion last month regarding long-term goals they have for the district. Unfortunately, they didn’t come to any solid conclusions or set any concrete goals.
What I see occurring is a clear-cut fork in the road: One leads toward increased professional-technical education in Kuna, and the other leads toward increased emphasis on post-secondary education.
Put more simply: Either train Kuna kids better to get a job right out of high school or push them to go on to college.
I’m not sure Kuna can do both, and I’m not sold on the idea that the Kuna school district should become a job-training center.
What I am sold on, though, is pushing more kids to go on to college.
I agree that not every student should go on to higher education. I also agree that there are many jobs out there that do not require a college degree. Can a student with just a high school diploma go out in the world and make a living? Of course. Can a graduate without a college degree become a success? Of course, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. And it’s only going to get harder for those without a college degree.
According to the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation, “Without education and training beyond high school, Idaho students will not qualify for two out of three new jobs, will earn about half that of college graduates, will vote less and need more welfare assistance.”
You could make the argument that, based on the number of new jobs requiring education beyond high school, about 67 percent of Kuna High School graduates should be going on to some form of post-secondary education in order to compete for those new jobs.