Fact: Apprenticeship programs should be, must be developed for students who everyone knows, and even they know, will not be going to college. This is NOT restricted to special ed students–which, by the way, is not a totally honest business in itself, but that is another story down the road. Apprenticeships should be available for carpentry, electrician, plumbing, mechanics, cooking, maintenance, medical aid, agricultural work, and probably some more but that’s a lot right there. I would even add computer work because a lot of students in high school, maybe even lower grades, can move ahead beyond the limited levels high school currently offers. Apprenticeships have 2 purposes, in my opinion. One is to start setting a high school, and possibly junior high school student into the environment of their gift or at least in the direction of a job they can have a great chance of being independent and socially constructive in. The second reason is to allow the advanced students, who have no interest in nor the financial means ever to get into college, to have an outlet of connecting to the real world job market for them to be independent and socially constructive in. I DO remember in my high school when at 1 o’clock every day certain “apprenticeship” students left for their special classes. These kids were always considered not too bright by the rest of us who could handle the mental strain of the boring classes they left us behind in. Only later did I understand that THEY were the lucky ones being prepared for the real world jobs. THEY would be the ones I would pay hundreds of dollars for their services to keep my life stress free. THEY were really the bright ones while we classroom sitters were the less bright of the bunch. So, what do you do, parent, if your school does not offer any apprenticeship opportunities for your child? Connect with people who have a business matching the gift of your child. Ask for opportunities and even offer to cover any financial expense to make it happen. Let the adventure begin because the public school offers very little adventure in learning the real work skills in the world.