In response to my blog about “A Confusing Job Market,” a reader proposes that the Department of Education merge with the Department of Labor.

Maybe the U.S. Dept. of Labor and the U.S. Dept. of Education should work together. In order to save money and improve test scores my suburban/urban ring high school has eliminated auto, electricity, wood-shop, culinary arts, and child development. Aren’t schools supposed to prepare students for employment and civic responsibility? The Dept. of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 6, lists the 30 occupations with the most employment growth – It’s clear that ALL children don’t need to go to college. It’s also becoming clear that education is becoming the newest pyramid scheme. I’ve noticed a proliferation of post-secondary career and technical schools which teach skills that used to be taught in comprehensive high schools.
What careers do standardized tests prepare students for? Psychometrician? I don’t see it listed in the top 30.

This is not a new idea. Before there was a federal Department of Education, there was the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. As the federal government’s programs grew, HEW became too large, and discussions began about breaking it up. One proposal was to have a Department of Education and Labor, but eventually the two were separated into two departments. It might have made just as much sense to have a Department of Health and Education, had we honored the age-old principle of “a sound mind in a sound body.”