Respect vocational education
Published in the Santa Monica Daily Press, March 28, 2010
Education secretary Arne Duncan insists that all high school grads should be ready for college and work. If this idea is accepted, a high school diploma will certify the completion of a college prep program.
This will have the effect of making a high school diploma irrelevant for all those who are not interested in college, who have different interests, talents and career paths. It will also mean a continuation of the decline of vocational classes of all kinds, which is not only bad for vocational ed and for the trades, it is bad for everyone.
My dad had a law degree and a CPA, and was highly educated and well-read. He went to a technical high school and took every shop class he could. He loved them. This practical background was extremely valuable to him in his business career. He knew what was happening not only in the offices but also in the factories, fields, construction sites, and warehouses, and had a deep respect for skilled work of all kinds.