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Devon Ramsey

Young Tradesmen Tells Educator “I Don’t See Your Way of Educating Succeeding”

devonramsey2Devon Ramsey’s story punctuates the message mikeroweWORKS has been saying for almost 7 years. The skilled trades are not only a positive and possibly lucrative career choice, unfortunately it is also STILL being negated by schools who still think a four-year college is the only way for young people to succeed.

The City Wire
Story by Michael Tilley

Devon Ramsey, 19, has a great job. He’s just barely one year out of high school, making well over $75,000 a year, has a new truck, no student loan debt and is investigating retirement plans. He’s happy with his position in life so far, but also is a combination of angry and frustrated with an education system he says is dismissive of skilled trades.

Ramsey, now a welder working as a pipefitter in Hennipen, Ill. (southwest of Chicago), expressed that frustration in an early 2014 letter to Dr. Benny Gooden, superintendent of Fort Smith Public Schools. He was upset that Gooden did not agree to participate in the New Tech program – a project-based learning curriculum – founded in 1996 and adopted by 160 schools in 26 states. Van Buren and the Rogers public school districts are among the 160 schools.

“I’m sorry to say sir that I don’t see your way of educating succeeding. I look around each day at my school associates and see mediocrity, disinterest and out right boredom,” Ramsey noted in his letter to Gooden. “Fifteen years ago and so on men knew how to work on their cars, how to change blades on lawn mowers, knew about carpentry, knew how to use machines. Now they have become useless and dependent on the older generation to do things for them.”

Gooden responded by noting that students in the Fort Smith district have access to numerous skill development programs.

Read the complete article at thecitywire.com.