Tag Archives: promote

Let's Make Vocational Programs a Bigger Slice of School Choice Menu

You probably assume a prolific blogging prodigy like myself eventually will head to a prestigious 4-year university — maybe even with Doogie Howser-like potential. But what if when I turn 16 some day my heart is set on a career as a plumber or a chef? You wouldn’t deny me that, would you? Writing for the America’s Future Foundation, Liam Julian of the Hoover Institution says we could take a big bite out of our high school dropout problem by engaging more students in vocational education programs — particularly those that integrate academics directly with students’ career aspirations, providing greater relevance to many teens (H/T Heritage Insider): Imagine a 17-year-old who does not want to attend college (or at least not right away); who finds parsing Macbeth maddeningly immaterial; who yearns to learn a practical skill and put it to use; who feels his personal strengths are being ignored and wasted; who is annoyed by his school’s lackluster teachers, classroom chaos, and general atmosphere of indifference. Too often, such a pupil has no other options. He has no educational choice.

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If a Teacher Strike Comes, Will Boulder Learn Denver's 1994 Lesson?

Back in the spring, I pointed you to some important discussion about the Boulder teacher “sickout”. A month ago I mentioned how the collective bargaining contract with the school district, and teachers voted to reject the latest offer. Well, earlier this week, the Boulder Valley Education Association filed official notice with the state that the union intends to strike. Sure, as my friend Ben DeGrow pointed out, that doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will happen soon or even happen at all. But another large Colorado local union went down a similar path 15 years ago during the state’s last teachers strike. So will the parties involved learn the lessons of the 1994 Denver walkout (PDF), or perhaps even take the opportunity to promote reforms in the way teachers are paid?

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