Another View on Vocational Education

Take a look at this article from the Contra Costa Times in California. Apparently, there’s a rebirth of vocational education classes taking place in California and there seem to be some results.

An excerpt:

On top of classes taught through their school districts, principals are also clamoring for more class offerings through regional occupational programs. There’s more demand than the county can supply, said Marie McClaskey, a director of student programs for the Contra Costa County Office of Education. The county, in turn, offers more classes than the state can pay for. McClaskey says that’s a major turnaround.

“Vocational ed from our perspective had a bad rap. Kids who couldn’t make it anywhere else took auto, wood and metal shop, and food classes,” McClaskey said.

State Sen. Tom Torlakson, D-Antioch, a former teacher, said groups including businesses, labor unions, public safety officers and correctional officers are coming together to push for career tech classes. He said he hopes that more relevant classes will motivate students and combat the 30 percent high school dropout rate statewide.

There aren’t conclusive statistics to show that career technical education has a wholesale effect on graduation rates, according to a 2004 National Assessment of Vocational Education study. But research shows that the more career tech classes a student takes, the higher earning potential the student has.

E.C. 🙂

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