Picking a major in 8th grade

Florida eighth graders will pick “majors” to study in high school, ranging from humanities, science and music to web designer, florist assistant and salon services assistant. Each high school will decide which of 138 state-approved majors to offer.

Every high school, alternative and charter school that offers grades nine through 12 created majors based on the school’s curriculum, magnet programs and career academies. Each has about a dozen majors or more to choose from. Majors in foreign languages, language arts, science, social studies and mathematics can be found at most schools..

Charters and alternative schools have fewer, with some schools offering only two or three options.

Beginning next school year, each student entering high school must earn four credits in a major area of interest, as well as four credits in elective courses, to graduate. Students can switch their major once each year

.Some of the majors are insanely specific: sports and recreational turf operation, assistant automotive detailing specialist, air conditioning, refrigeration and heating specialist. It’s hard to imagine 13-year-olds who long for a career washing cars or sweeping up at the beauty salon.

SpunkyHomeSchool thinks the government should mind its own business.

About Joanne


  1. assistant automotive detailing specialist?
    Glad they’re teaching them to aim high!

  2. There’s a horrible sort of symetry to this story.

    The problems that this law is meant to address are, largely, the result of central planning and the remedy for the ailment isn’t a reduction in central planning but more of the right kind of central planning.

    The relinquishment of authority, running counter to most people’s inclinations as it does seems to preclude decentralization-by-design. Charters, and in a slightly different way, vouchers, represent decentralization but I wonder how many people appreciate that?

  3. I’m not so sure that I would go so far as to say that charters are just government schools without local control. They are centrally controlled by the state often in cooperation with businesses. Vouchers are the most inefficient of all. They take our money, spend some and give us the rest back in the form of a voucher to spend in “approved” places. That’s not my idea of decentralized control.

  4. Charters are government schools but with the most local of local control – piss off enough parents and the school evaporates.

    Contrast that to the operation of a school district. The only means of exerting control is during the school board elections and then only by electing someone who shares your point of view.

    At any other time control is vested in the elected members of the school board and short of a recall or criminal behavior, they’re under the control, of, essentially, no one. School boards have an amazing degree of independence considering they get their authority to operate from the state.

    You may go and ask, politely, for a policy you favor to be OKed or a problem to be dealt with but you have to ask. That’s not control, that’s supplication.

    If you do believe that school boards are effective instruments of local control of education then it’s implicit that the tax payers of, say, Detroit approve of a 50% high school graduation rate and 34% adequate literacy rate. Somehow I find it difficult to believe that a record as awful as that meets with the approval of the tax-paying public.