The Common Core curriculum is doing a great injustice to the state of Louisiana.

First, let me give you the short definition of the Core curriculum (since 80 to 85 percent of the people in the state have no clue that it exists much less know the definition). It is a national curriculum. What is being taught to kids in New York, New Jersey, California and 40-something other states is being taught to our kids here in Louisiana.

Well, that sounds good and looks great on paper, but Louisiana is not a service state. We are an industrial state that needs industrial workers!

In states with large city populations, a college degree will yield higher pay and more opportunities. There are more service jobs in places like Wall Street, Madison Avenue or the Silicon Valley. In Louisiana, only 20 percent of the population gets a college degree. The other 80 percent are not going to college, because they have no desire to go.

The majority of the industry in this state lies along the Mississippi River in the form of chemical plants. The plants represent BIG money for Louisiana. A high school graduate with a skill such as welder, electrician, pipefitter, etc., can get a job immediately paying good money. Within a few years, they could make in excess of $100,000 annually. The only college degrees in this state that make that kind of money are doctors and lawyers. Even the degreed engineers in the plants make less than the operators.

Louisiana seriously needs to start pouring money into vocational tech programs. Teach kids how to be a welder, an electrician, a draftsman, a bricklayer, a nurse, etc. In the growing Louisiana film industry, companies are so desperate for workers that they are offering kids out of high school, with no experience, $22 an hour. Where are the classes training kids for the film industry?

The statistics say only 20 percent of the jobs available in Louisiana are for college-degreed people. That stat has not changed in 50 years! The statistics say 65 percent of all the jobs available in Louisiana are for skilled laborers. This year alone, there will be 80,000 skilled jobs in the state that industry cannot fill. Near Lake Charles, they have started on the largest construction project in the history of Louisiana. They will need even more skilled workers!

There will always be a percentage of the students who want to go to college. Keep the Core curriculum for them. Allow the majority of students who are not interested in college to take meaningful vocational tech classes. This will serve the needs of Louisiana and its citizens and make us a more productive state.

B.G. Hoffmann


New Roads