When I was in school (OK, I know that was just right after the dark ages) some field in VoTech was a perfectly valid course of study. Not everyone was encouraged to go to college – of course, not everyone had to go to college. Since I’ve been teaching however, I’ve seen a shift to little to no vocational training. These doesn’t leave much for the poor kid who just isn’t all that successful at school. I remember a young lady in my geometry class one year discussing her college aspirations. She couldn’t get to class and when she was there did precious little work. Yet, because everyone is told they can go to college, she thought she was college bound – somewhere she’d missed the part that she needed a strong work ethic and somewhat decent grades.
So I was a bit surprised today to see this article: Tough Calculus as Technical Schools Face Deep Cuts, which mentions a school in my district AND how a vocational class turned a student around from failing to passing with the desire to go to community college. Great News! Well, as it turns out, not so great. You guessed it, budget cuts. So, I’m thinking that there has to be someway to pick up the slack here for those kids who want to do something outside of the college-bound norm. Could private industry step in? Does this kind of instruction have to be done by certified teachers or can apprentice programs be set up?
Gotta be a solution here . . .