Sunday, August 17, 2014

Education Reform Fails to Focus on "Education That Works"

Great piece by veteran newspaper writer Dick Hilker in the Denver Post today called "Education That Works.  Hilker focuses on the growth and success at two Denver area technical high schools - Warren Tech and Pickens. It is an important message that is regularly lost amidst discussion of education reform.  In the past few years, I have rung this same bell several times in the Post, and the response is always large and supportive. The problem, of course, is that no one at the policy level is doing anything to give this the attention it deserves at the state level. 

The emphasis on Common Core, PARCC, and STEM has all but stifled discussion of re-vamping schools statewide on this model. And too many people dismiss any talk of "voc ed" as implying that not all kids should "go to college." Which many probably shouldn't when it's not necessary for their chosen path. The problem is it's always an emphasis on 4-year bachelor degrees instead of associates, certificates, and apprenticeships. Let's hope Hilker's words make the rounds at the Capitol - I know they pay attention to what appears in the Post.

Thanks to Hilker for continuing to promote this invaluable side of public education. The specific focus, with details on the college connection, at Pickens and Warren was an excellent blend of commentary and news.  We cannot promote enough the importance of career and technical education. Four million jobs are available in skilled trades - while politicians and school boards (and Bill Gates) still focus on sending every kid to 4-year colleges for degrees in business and engineering.

More diversity and choice in education is what we need.

1 comment:

Dressler said...

Really an interesting viewpoint! Skilled labor really is bizarrely undervalued. I like your advocacy for success for all students...and your solid point that college isn't ALWAYS the best way.