Academics are pointless, Ilana Garon’s students at a Bronx high school told her. “When am I ever going to need Shakespeare? Or geometry?”
When asked, two said they wanted to be astronauts. A third wants to be an actress. “You want to be astronauts, and you think you’re not going to need math?” Garon asked. She turned to the actress. “Or English?”
They were certain that most of what they were learning in high school was totally irrelevant to their future career choices.
Garon supports alternatives to the traditional “college for all” academic path such as trade and career-tech programs. Her “students also need a crash course in career awareness.” Many careers — IT, accounting, engineering, hospitality management — are off their radar. They don’t know the skills and habits the workforce requires.