TEENS— An Endangered Species!

If you are a teen or the parent of a teen, sit down before reading this. Take a few slow deep breaths.

Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself.--- John Dewey

Teens are the future of our society. They are the future of their own world. But they are racing toward a wall, at high speed. Only the acquisition of knowledge can save them from becoming permanent teenagers in the world of job potential. What will happen when they leave the false security of high school?

President Barack Obama urges Americans to go back to school to get a degree or advance their current degree: “It’s no longer just a time to look for a new job, but is also a time to prepare yourself for a better job.”

In June, unemployment rates for the major worker groups, were still climbing–adult men 10.0%, adult women 7.6%, teenagers 24.0%.

Almost 10 million job losers. Teens were by far the most impacted group. Always the first to go. And what difference will there be for those teens who don’t graduate from high school, who don’t go forward into higher education and seek a degree? Will they be stuck in the teen category of high school education applicants?

And how are many high school students reacting to the President’s message, and to these grim job numbers? With total apathy. Many just don’t care, according to a CEEP INDIANA study (see HSSSE_2006_Report.pdf).

  • Fewer than half of the students go to high school because of what happens within the classroom environment
  • A great majority of students are bored every day, if not in every class
  • 43% spend 0-1 hour doing written homework, 83% spend 5 hours or less
  • 55% spend 0 or 1 hour per week reading and studying for class, 90% spend 5 hours or fewer
  • Students want more active learning such as peer working groups and presentations
  • Girls report being more engaged across all dimensions of high school engagement than boys. (Girls were 58% of 4 year college graduates in 2006).

U.S. Dept Labor, Unemployment Rates, June 2009

All workers ………….| 8.1| 9.2| 8.9| 9.4| 9.5| 0.1
Adult men ………….| 8.2| 9.7| 9.4| 9.8| 10.0| .2
Adult women ………..| 6.7| 7.4| 7.1| 7.5| 7.6| .1
Teenagers ………….| 21.3| 22.7| 21.5| 22.7| 24.0|

Having fun may seem the only important thing right now, but if you want to survive after high school, if you want money, investing in your education pays off.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the higher your education level, the higher your salary tends to be. Employees with bachelor’s degrees make, on average, $19,000 more than those with associate degrees. And that assumes you can even find a job.

The job market will only continue to focus more and more intensely on skill sets, experience, and work history. Employers are cutting staff numbers, and those who keep their jobs are often given the additional work of those no longer present.

It’s tough out there, and getting tougher. If a teenager won’t or can’t cut it in high school, what is going to happen in the REAL WORLD?

It’s time for teens to decide what they want to be, and how to become their dream. It’s time for parents of teens to take charge, to find the education motivators their teen needs. Its time for teens and their parents to wake up and see the fate of teens who will soon become unemployed adults, and even parents themselves.

The tougher the job market, the better-equipped you must be. And it’s getting worse every day, especially for the marginal groups, like teenagers.

Educate yourself. Educate your child. Educate, educate, educate!

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