Friday, April 1, 2011

Response to a comment on the recent Duncan-CCC growing links post

We have decided to post independently our reply to Fairbanks, Out question regarding this post. Below we reproduce the exchange.

Fairbanks, Out. said...

So...what's wrong with more workers being taught to work jobs that Chicago creates by using it's gravity to pull 'em in? The rest I understand is the set-up for that.

City Colleges of Chicago Reinvention: The Truth said...

Fairbanks, thanks for your question. There is no problem with job-training, it has been done for decades. The problem is with the actual context.
1. For a long time, industry has trained their workers on the job. And for a long time they have been trying to shift its cost into the government or any other willing partners. That is why they have argued for years for higher education to twist itself and accept these responsibilities at no cost for the corporate world. Hey, the corporations pay little taxes and in many cases like GE or Bank of America, no taxes at all. SO by not owning to their responsibilities to invest in training their workers they want to have their cake and eat too.
2. The transformation of community colleges like the CCC into job-training centers destroys a historical role they have played in helping working class folks to get a meaningful education at a relatively reasonable cost. The new job-training orientation will mean that the scope of their education will become much narrower, and that many won’t be able to have the flexibility (in personal growth and social advancement) that comes with a broader education and a bachelor’s degree. Flexibility that will be needed when the current jobs on offer morph or disappear and you are left with a tunnel-vision type of education. Flexibility in a richer understanding of the world that you need to understand that the limited pay and working conditions you have in your job as a plan for millions of people is fundamentally unfair.
3. Finally, it is particularly disgusting that many people will be pulled like cattle by their noses through the conscious tracking of these folks into job-training programs disguised as higher education. Tracking happens when you are placed into a category by the educational system and then you are told that that is your lot on this earth. It will be more sophisticated in this new world of Reinvention, but it won’t be less outrageous and disgusting than when it was done to African American, Latino, female, and poor, working class white children in the 1960s.


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