Sioux Falls School Board Candidate Mickelson wants to use public education to push ‘Workforce Development’

While at first glance, this sounds like good idea, I’m not sure many voters are buying it. The school board candidates just finished their 3rd and probably final candidate forum. In each of them, one candidate’s idea stood out that got quite a bit of push back from the other candidates. Voters have also expressed to me that they found Mickelson’s comments troubling.

On Friday during the last forum at Dem Forum, Mickelson pushed for her idea again, even after saying she supports teacher unions and talked about her endorsement from the SFEA. She said the crowd is probably surprised but stressed she was an independent voice from her husband.

Not so fast.

Like I said, preparing kids for jobs outside of HS isn’t such a bad idea within itself, but the other candidates pointed out why promoting this one-legged stool is not such a good idea. The other candidates pointed to a public education being ‘equal to all’ and ‘well-rounded’. In other words the focus is to prepare ALL students for whatever they want to do after HS. If that means forgoing college to join the workforce right away, so be it, but they think we should prepare all students to strive for the best not just the easiest route.

Just because someone in the public school system may have poor working class parents, it shouldn’t mean they automatically should be prepped to work those same, low-paying jobs when they get out. The school district should be doing everything in their power to prepare ALL students for higher education.

This is why Mickelson’s statements are counter productive and reveal her true feelings on organized labor. She wants our schools to focus more on producing low wage worker bees for the states industries because some kids just are not cut out for college.

School board members should never under estimate their student body. They should also not be concerned about whether or not our state can attract and produce enough low-wage blue collar jobs. Our schools already struggle with enough problems, the last thing on their agenda should be worrying about rich business owners bottom lines.


#1 My Mistake Mike on 05.27.17 at 8:12 pm

She sounds like a carbon-copy of her husband. One-legged-stool pigeon.

#2 Jack D. Frost on 05.27.17 at 10:44 pm

You may be missing the point. Today’s workforce needs will be aided by more students enrolling in tech school programs and the skilled trades. Technology is driving the need for specific skills being taught in two year programs rather than 4-5 year university programs that normally end with substantial student debt and a major with no job prospects.

#3 l3wis on 05.28.17 at 12:57 am

Frost, I would agree 100%. Like I said, not opposed to it. My point is we should challenge all HS school students no matter their economic status to try to achieve as much as possible. And hey, if they decide after that they want to be truck driver or welder, so be it, but let’s not predetermine kids should just automatically start working to be a welder in HS.

#4 Michele on 05.28.17 at 11:49 am

Parents and teachers are on the front line when it comes to preparing their kids/students for what the future has to offer. Many ppl I have spoken with think Mickelson is worthy of the school board position. Not only does she share the same concerns about our schools, but her being a parent, she certainly has a vested interest.

Whether she supports going to a 4yr/2yr college or straight out into the work force, CM & teachers know there is potential in any of those options. This was made clear to us when she knocked on our door and took time to discuss our ideas. College campuses are not a desirable place anymore. Most recently a WA campus held a “Day without Whites”; that’s where I want to send my child?! How about your son being falsely accused of rape; happening every day at universities.

I agree with Frost & l3wis, I wonder if they listen to Mike Rowe? My husband went straight into the work force and has one of those blue collar jobs. He is providing financial security for us and has been for years. We consider ourselves working class parents, but by no means poor.

The Brookings Institution lists 3 ways teens can stay out of poverty and I would hope our schools (all involved) and parents encourage kids to do them:
1. Graduate High School.
2. Don’t have babies before marriage.

Don’t forget to vote on June 6th, it’s important!

#5 anominous on 05.28.17 at 11:09 pm

Due to her husband’s disinterest in the Matt Wollmann intern scandal, I’m not gonna vote for this candidate.

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