I wonder if Michigan residents got a deal on looms, tools, dies, and presses when manufacturing was revolutionizing the state's economy. I wonder if Kurt Weiss, communications director for the state Department of Information Technology, might have said of that revolution, "In the next five years, 85 percent of all new jobs will require manufacturing skills."
If Governor Granholm's MiPC program were started in the late 19th century (MiTool?) we'd have arranged for discounted sheet metal and presses for families to take home. But we didn't. Perhaps back then adults were prepared through education (public or private) to learn, or were lucky enough (?) to live at a time when physical labor and Ford's $5/day could afford a family a decent standard of living.
Michigan's middle and high schools have also been providing shop classes (a humbling experience for me) since at least the 70s that I know of. Vocational education centers provide this training as well. I'm unaware of any that arrange financing or discounts for lifts and presses for the home.
Michigan schools have already been investing heavily in computer equipment, internet access, instructors, and curriculum and I'm uncertain state controlled economies are the right approach, which is what tinkering with costs is, though I am certain it is The Michigan Way: entitlements the state can't afford it requires businesses to provide. The punitive Single Business Tax is one example. Raising the minimum wage is another.
To paraphrase Russell Trojan, "Success is inconvenient." And like success, education is inconvenient. You must do the work yourself. You must take the test yourself. We don't take seriously nor do we care for things as well that are given us than things we purchase with own efforts and time. The Michigan Way, according to our politicians, is to try and make success convenient with as little work or damage to our self esteem as possible. According to a news letter from Michigan Senator Gilda Jacobs (D-District 14 - Huntington Woods) the high school curriculum bill is stuck in committee:
"The big issue, still, is Algebra II. One school of thought sees the subject as an informal prerequisite to the future workforce. The cognitive challenges of Algebra II teach the logical processing tools necessary to function in a high-tech job. Others feel that the subject is too hard for some students, who will grow discouraged and drop/flunk out of school."I guess we wouldn't want that to happen. Better to preserve children's self esteem today than prepare them for tomorrow. If we avoid hurting students' feelings Nolan Finley, writer for the Detroit News warns:
"If we let weak politicians derail the tougher curriculum, we'll seal Michigan's fate as the state that produces the world's best floor sweepers and hamburger flippers."I don't think that's a direction we should be heading, but too many of our politicians believe it's The Michigan Way.