This is for the USA in particular. Fact is, there are too many graduates, and a lot jobs we need don't take graduates.
If a kid is three grades behind in reading or refuses to do schoolwork or whatever, yeah they should still get the three R's, but the focus should be things like woodshop, welding, plumbing,
circuits, motors, cooking, etc. And for the lowest levels, we should be preparing them for factories, fast food, and retail. My city already does this.
For the mentally handicapped, ages 18-21, we train them to get a job and function in society. And it's a hugely successful program.
Not every student needs to learn biology, chemistry, US history, Shakespeare, etc. They weren't going to remember it anyway.
Of course there's value in those things, but the **opportunity cost** of not teaching the practical subjects is much higher.
This kind of separation should definitely happen in high school, but maybe even start in middle or late elementary.
If we net a student who ends up smart, then they will be one of the best d*** practical engineers of their generation,
and the fact that we didn't teach them precalculus won't stop them from learning it if it's needed.
Edit: I found a good article showcasing what I'm talking about in the real world [here](http://www.usnews.
Edit: Fine. Don't base it off intelligence. Base it off some rubric of chronic underperformance, and the recommendation of many, many teachers.
Those students who can't easily succeed in traditional school I think could find better success in the vocations,
whether it meshes better with their personality or interests or abilities or whatever. It's not so much because they are stupid (be that as it may), but moreso that they are different.
In the reverse, I am sure some students would do poorly in the vocational track, but okay in the college track.
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