Fall is here and the school bells are tolling the beginning of another school year. About 30,000 teenagers have been registered in over 100 Utah public supported high schools. If past performance is indicative of the future, about 20 percent of them will not be among the Utah high school graduates in 1992.
A critic of this situation made this remark - "I hope this year our high schools are not going to be teaching the same old things in the same old ways."This cannot be said of Salt Lake City's West High School. Among its innovations is the Passport to Work, a procedure it has successfully tested, but still needs the support of all prospective employers of high school adolescent job seekers to make it fully operative in our vicinity.
The Passport is a small credential about the size of an automobile driver's license encased in a plastic folder. The front side contains the picture of the student seeking employment together with his/her grade point averages in scholarship, citizenship, and vocational studies. The back of the credential contains a coded list of high school courses.
The credential provides a formal and official introduction of the student's performance while at West High. With this introduction, the prospective employer can informally interview the credential holder about employment.
Students become fully aware of the importance of high scholastic grade point averages when facing prospective employers. Job applicants with such performance in school usually perform well in free enterprise employment.
A worthy passport provides encouragement for students who desire part time employment while in high school or full time job entry employment immediately after graduation, to perform favorably when employed. High school dropouts or poor achievers do not qualify for such a passport.
High School graduates who continue their education in colleges and universities must present a transcript of high school credits for entrance. In the past, students seeking part-time work while in high school or for entry jobs immediately thereafter have had no credential when being interviewed for employment. They have been left to drift and fend for themselves.
Not all students will seek or desire such employment, but for those who want or need to, the passport serves a worthy purpose. Financial problems at home make such employment a need for many students. All young people should be taught how to work and to know that honest work is important for productive and joyful living.
Good education consists of impressions on the brain and in the mind which lead to decisions for doing the things that should be done in the proper way, place, and time. This definition does not say knowing about things that should be done; rather in doing the things that should be done. Doing involves performance. Performance implies work, and work involves personal responsibilities.
On-job employment for young people involves doing experiences in good citizenship where they learn to respect themselves not to respect the rights of others.
The experiences are associated with such ethical principles as courtesy, loyalty, punctuality, friendliness, abstinence from health pollutants, moral integrity and reponsibility, all components of good citizenship. These principles couple with worthy scholarship, contribute to exemplary self esteem, the product of good education.
Employers who encourage high school students to have worthy passports and to proudly portray them as an evidence of desirable high school achievements, are in effect very important teachers themselves who are partners with high school teachers in good educational instruction.
Such performance on the part of employers makes a great contribution in encouraging students to attain high scholarship and maintain exemplary citizenship.
May all such employers of young people in Utah become aware of the Passport to Work and make it an important entity in youthful employment!