What Do You Think?

May 10, 2009

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week there were three poll questions. The first question was: Do you think Washington County Public Schools' creation of a transportation hub to serve students enrolled in a signature program at a school other than their home school is a good idea?

"I voted yes, even though I find some of the 'signature programs' as being whimsical and fruitless. I do not believe that parents should not be made to pay for transportation that they already pay for through their taxes."

"Why should transportation prevent any student in Washington County schools from participating in a unique experience? They didn't have that kind of thing when I attended South Hagerstown High School and commend the Board of Education for enabling it."


"There can be no doubt since this idea came from Washington County Public Schools. What does it matter if we pay for thousands of more miles traveled and additional operating costs, not to mention the time the students will be traveling. Every school should have just as many signature programs as it has students - that is only fair and will create one-on-one education, which is even better than most home schooling. Washington County Public Schools has lost its bearings and is scattering the efforts of the teachers."

"It's about time! Seemed foolish to offer countywide programs without offering a means of transportation in the first place!"

"An even better option would be to look beyond 'physical' access and make these programs available to kids through other technologies, such as Webcasts, podcasts and online learning. Imagine how education could be revolutionized if we just started to think outside the box. Less emphasis on putting a body in a desk for seven hours a day and more emphasis on actual learning."

The second question was: Would you take advantage of an educational doctorate to be offered at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown?

"No, but I think it is great that the school is offering those classes. I believe people who are looking for an advanced degree will choose that program. Great job, UM, for offering the program."

"If I could go from freshman undergrad to doctorate without having to traipse all over the place to do so, you bet I would! The UMC-H project is a work in progress and I think that eventually, we will be able to offer such a gamut (and more than one doctorate program) and that people will use this! Unfortunately, this was all a pipe dream when I was first out of school, otherwise, I'd have probably saved my time, money and energy from moving to an on-campus living arrangement to staying local, where I still had my job and friends, and gotten my education that way."

"I have known a few persons with doctorates in education and none of them could I consider to be better teachers because of their degrees. Some I would consider to be better talkers, but not necessarily better thinkers or better demonstrators of teaching skills. In fact, the case can be made that the more formal education a person has, the more removed he is from the act of teaching a child the things a child needs to know."

"I think it is great that this program is being offered in Hagerstown and that opens up many opportunities to those in Western Maryland. I can only hope that they will expand this to some other areas so I can take advantage of it."

The third question was: How would you describe the job prospects for this spring's college graduates?

"Graduates are presumably young and healthy and there is always a bull market somewhere. Pack your bags and get going."

"There are always going to be jobs for these graduates. Maybe not for as high a starting salary as they would like and maybe not in the field they are trained for. People do not realize that we do graduate more college grads each year than there are jobs that need a college degree. So many graduates end up getting up a job they do not even need a degree for, but then need to spend years paying back their student loans."

"Even if there are jobs in a graduate's field, hiring practices aren't as swift in the professional markets as they are in the more labor-intensive work force. Bottom line is these kids need to be making something and they'll go where they can get hired without having to sit around and wait on a suit to make up their mind."

"It depends on the degree. The medical field and engineering field have many unfilled jobs. It's probably because they are difficult degrees with higher math and science requirements. ... The students who take liberal arts or simply go to party will not have a rosy future in the job market."

The Herald-Mail Articles